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Green Card while on J-1 Visa

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FaddyAcids

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if an IMG gets a green card during the residency while he is on J-1 Visa, can he switch to permanent resident and therefore does not have to go back to his home country or work in an underserved area after residency???
 

Faebinder

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if an IMG gets a green card during the residency while he is on J-1 Visa, can he switch to permanent resident and therefore does not have to go back to his home country or work in an underserved area after residency???

It may be waived.

Here is the link. They can deny you of course.
 

NotAProgDirector

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My understanding was that nothing other than a J waiver job voids the 2 year requirement. This would include marrying a US citizen, winning the GC lottery, etc.

Then again, I'm not a visa lawyer.
 

Meat Cookie

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The answer is no. A green card cannot be obtained while under a J1 visa, only H1B will allow you to do this. Thus the only method of avoiding returning to your home country is a J1 waiver.
 

rox

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What about J-1 visas given for clinical electives? Are they subject to the same law in which the visa holder can't return to the states within he next two years? Any idea?
 

NotAProgDirector

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What about J-1 visas given for clinical electives? Are they subject to the same law in which the visa holder can't return to the states within he next two years? Any idea?

If you're just coming to the US for 1-2 months of electives, you should try to come on a student F visa. Should you actually get a J visa for a short period of time, you will be subject to the 2 year rule, I believe.
 

rox

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The problem is that many medical schools require J-1 for clinical electives specially those in NY. So, the medical school is actually who determine the type of visa rather than the applicant. I guess it would be wise then to avoid such schools in order to be in the safe side and not take any risk.

Thank you.
 

FaddyAcids

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I could find many medical schools that require B-1 visa for externships. Plus how could a med student get a J-1 while he is still not ECFMG certified and coming to the US for electives??!!
 

rox

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Yes, quite true. Many medical schools accept B-1. However, some can be strict and ask for F-1 or even J-1 only. Check Mount Sinai(J-1), Downstate university(J-1) and Baylor(F-1 or J-1).

I don't think J-1 is only limited to ECFMG-certified persons.
 

NotAProgDirector

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If you're just coming to the US for 1-2 months of electives, you should try to come on a student F visa. Should you actually get a J visa for a short period of time, you will be subject to the 2 year rule, I believe.

Correcting my above post, A B-1 visa makes more sense for a student. Should apply if the away elective is part of your foreign training and if you are not being paid.

F-1 would only be appropriate if you are enrolled in a US school.

J-1 visa would require ECFMG certification, which requires graduation from medical school.

So:

If you are currently enrolled in a foreign medical school, an exchange rotation would usually be done on a B Visa.

If you have already graduated from a foreign school and are trying to get US CE, then it's not clear what visa you would get. A J requires a letter from a GME program. F requires that you be enrolled in a US school. Not sure if you can get a B visa, but I don't think so. No idea, love to hear from people who have done this.
 

rox

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Well, the idea I have is that a visiting student doesn't get to choose the type of visa actually. It is the med school you're visiting who decide the type of visa and this would be clear on their website and visa forms right from the beginning usually.


F-1 would only be appropriate if you are enrolled in a US school.

UTMB for example requires F-1 visa for a visiting student to do a clinical elective. I know many international visiting students who got F-1 for their clinical elective.
 

Meat Cookie

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Correct me if I'm wrong guys but J1 is an employment visa, thus it can't be obtained for medical school.
 

iamcatwoman

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you're right. J1 is an employment visa, and you would need to be ECFMG certified to get it (in fact, the ECFMG will sponsor your visa). Same with the H1B (which you need Step3 for).
 

rox

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How come then that some medical schools sponsor J-1 visa for visiting clinical electives? I gave some examples in a previous post. I heard J-1 is divided into more than 10 subtypes...this may explain the variation.
 

NotAProgDirector

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I'm learning new things all the time. The J-1 visa appears to have many forms, and you can apply for a short term scholar J-1 which does not need ECFMG certification and does not have the 2 year home rule -- these are only applicable for the "alien physician" J-1. You can read all about the various forms of J-1 here.
 

rox

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This makes sense now :) It would be insane to do electives in a hospital that requires J-1 visa as a final med student, then stay out of the states for the next 2 years; while you should be doing interviews and maybe get a residency spot during these 2 years!

So may be we should not advise people to stay away from such hospitals?
 

Faebinder

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J-1 is the exchange/transfer student visa. Residency is counted as a graduate medical education position and therefore eligable for this special student visa. The fact that you get paid by your institution while recieving this "education" service is just a bonus.

A J-1 is not limited to ECFMG but if you want this "graduate medical education" teaching in the US then you need the J-1. If J-1 was not a teaching visa then it would be usable for residency. (Yes it might be news to you but residency is supposed to teach the resident to practice, not to have them enter knowing everything after them practicing elsewhere for 5 years).

The H-1 is an employee visa and is a different game. The H-1 relies on the fact that residency is also counted as a job. Residency in the US is both a job and higher education... which is why we get deferement (or used) and why we get paid. I got major issues with the H-1 visa because in any other industry, you have to prove that you can't get an american citizen to fullfill this job before offering an H-1. Residency gets away with this and shifts the H-1 to foreigners regardless of the american applicants.

For an elective, it's enough to have a B-1 but some schools will require a J-1 cause that's the policy of the institution (as it should be, that's those visas exist with their harsh requirement of going home for two years). However, the J-1 for electives is not ECFMG sponsored and the two years rule might not be applicable though I heard about the two year rule in other industries so I would certainly ask first.
 

Faebinder

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Here is the part you folks care about.

Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement

An exchange visitor is subject to INA 212(e) requirement, if the following conditions exist:

-The program in which the exchange visitor was participating was financed in whole or in part directly or indirectly by the United States government or the government of the exchange visitor's nationality or last residence;

-The exchange visitor is a national or resident of a country designated as requiring the services of persons engaged in the field of specialized knowledge or skills in which the exchange visitor was engaged for the duration of their program (Exchange Visitor Skills List 9 FAM 41.62, Exhibit II);

-The exchange visitor entered the United States to receive graduate medical education or training.

If the exchange visitor is subject to INA 212(e) requirement, he or she cannot change his or status to that of H, L, K, or immigrant lawful permanent resident (LPR) until he or she has returned to his/her home country for at least two-years or received a waiver of that requirement. Such waivers can be obtained under five separate bases: No Objection Statement, Exceptional Hardship or Persecution, Conrad Program, or Interested Government Agency. For information, see Waiver of the J Visa Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement 212(e).

Because of the first point, you can forget about ANY government affiliated institutions including university hospitals unless you are willing to go back for 2 years. Likewise if your government is paying for this.. then the 2 years apply.

You aren't entering to recieve graduate medical education for an elective... just straight up medical education (but make sure that's what's being applied to on the form else you are subject to the 2 years going back). On the other hand if you come for a fellowship pre-residency... you gotta go back.
 

smoohead

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Maaaan... all this legal mumbo jumbo... :confused:

So in a nutshell: if a student is in the U.S for clinicals, they can do all their clinicals on a B1 visa until they graduate (provided they stay away from government and university hospitals). Then after they graduate and have ECFMG cert., they can start residency on J1 (in which case 2 year going back rule applies). Is that pretty much the gist?

Also, if you (hypothetically) marry a U.S. citizen while you are still a B1 (before even applying for J1), you become a perm. resident and you don't even have to worry about visa crap, correct?

Ok what if you end up getting your J1 and you want to use the waiver method. How difficult is it to obtain a residency in those rural areas? Do your chances get better with good test scores?
 

Faebinder

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Maaaan... all this legal mumbo jumbo... :confused:

So in a nutshell: if a student is in the U.S for clinicals, they can do all their clinicals on a B1 visa until they graduate (provided they stay away from government and university hospitals). Then after they graduate and have ECFMG cert., they can start residency on J1 (in which case 2 year going back rule applies). Is that pretty much the gist?

B1 visa can be used to go to ANY institution for a rotation. If you want the institution to sponser the visa then you will face the J-1 option because many will not sponser any other visa and thus the two year issue applies if any of the 3 above things I mentioned come up. So yes take a B1 and go do rotations but you should make sure the institution will "approve" your rotation independant of your visa.

Also, if you (hypothetically) marry a U.S. citizen while you are still a B1 (before even applying for J1), you become a perm. resident and you don't even have to worry about visa crap, correct?

Right. Unless you marry while J1... then you need to leave.

Ok what if you end up getting your J1 and you want to use the waiver method. How difficult is it to obtain a residency in those rural areas? Do your chances get better with good test scores?

Waivers are not as easy. Your scores will help you get a residency not a waiver. Waivers are mainly given to primary care specialties (So don't come dreaming of getting the classic invasive rich cardiology fellowship that every foreigner wants until you get your green card). You might end up enslaved for a long ass time like these guys in Nevada.

Get an H-1 or marry someone.... make it a green card... apply to cardiology.. get rich. That's the classic thoughts of people coming to the US. (Did I hit it too close? Sorry, I dont have much respect for that mentality and system abuse but what I said above is true).
 

smoohead

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Isn't there a new rule that puts a cap on B1 visa renewals? If you're doing clinical rotations on a B1 visa and then you can't renew it more than once, how are you supposed to stay in the country after that? Is there a loophole for medical students?
 

rox

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I gotta admit I'm a bit confused here.

So, Faebinder, what would you advise students going to hospitals that accept J-1 only for clinical electives?
 

FaddyAcids

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The J-1 visa appears to have many forms, and you can apply for a short term scholar J-1 which does not need ECFMG certification and does not have the 2 year home rule

So get a J-1 for hospitals that require it for externships, it doesnt have the 2 years rule. It doesnt even make sense if it does.
 

smoohead

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Isn't there a new rule that puts a cap on B1 visa renewals? If you're doing clinical rotations on a B1 visa and then you can't renew it more than once, how are you supposed to stay in the country after that? Is there a loophole for medical students?

I guess one solution would be to switch to the J1 temp. scholars visa which you mentioned. But I can't find any information on it. Any sources?
 

Faebinder

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I gotta admit I'm a bit confused here.

So, Faebinder, what would you advise students going to hospitals that accept J-1 only for clinical electives?

hmmm.. I listed the problem.

If you are going to take a J-1 to do a clinical rotation you need to:

1) Make sure your government is not paying for you directly or indirectly.

2) Make sure the US government is not paying for it directly or indirectly.

3) Make sure that it's a medical school rotation not some graduate medical education program (like a research fellowship).

Directly = giving the institution you are going to money to pay for your rotation, indirectly = giving you money to pay the institution for the rotation. Otherwise, there should be no problem and the 2 year rule probably doesnt apply as per the link I sent.

I recommend B-1 for the rotations. You can get a 5 year B-1 visa to visit. Come finish them, take the exams and go or hang around for the match.
 

rox

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Thanks for the clarification. I think one should check with the administrative person in each hospital to have a definite answer.
 

FaddyAcids

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I was told H-1B visa is easier to get for primary care specialties. True/False?
 

rox

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I have no idea.

I'd like to know how one can manage to do 2 electives at 2 hospitals that each requires different type of visa, eg B-1 and J-1. Any idea?
 

rox

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It's quite realistic. Mayo(B1) offers only one month. In case I want to do another month in Baylor I'll need F-1.
 
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