Jinxapotato

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Hi All,

I am a Canadian who is currently doing my PGY2 year in IM (3 years) under a J1 Visa. I wish to pursue fellowship training in heme onc (another 3 years), and if I fail to match the fellowship, I can either do some 1-2 year mini fellowship OR start my J1 waiver process with my IM training. However, I have a few specific questions that I could use some clarification on:

1) I was under the impression that I can use the same J1 visa for my residency + fellowship, even if I move to a different institution, I just need a new SON am I right?

2) If I didn't match fellowship this year, I would like to do a 2-years non-ACGME accredited mini-fellowship (like BMT or leukemia) to boost my chance in heme onc. However, this will extend beyond my 7 year J1 visa length (3 residency, 2 mini fellowship, 3 heme onc fellowship = 8 years). Is there anyway that I can extend my J1 by 1 year?

3) If I instead decided to do a J1 waiver after my IM residency, let's say I worked 3 years of waiver job and am now waived of J1, can I resume training by applying for fellowship under J1 again? If I finish that training, do I need to do another J1 waiver?

4)If I went for the 5-year NIW waiver (you work underserved area for 5 years for green card). Let's say I did 5 years and I now filed application for green card. However I am from a country with looooong waitlist (China and India), what visa will I be on while I wait for my GC? Can I apply for further training under this status? Do I need to apply for another VISA since I am technically waiting for my green card?

Thank you so much for helping answering these,

Best.
 

NotAProgDirector

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1. Whether or not it's a "new" visa or extension of the old one is an academic issue. You have to submit all the same info again -- the SoN, etc. But it's very straightforward. It does not trigger a new HRR, so you still only "owe" three years in a waiver program.

2. Yes, but the process isn't easy or guaranteed: Extension Beyond the Maximum Duration of Stay (ecfmg.org)

3. Once you complete your J waiver, you now qualify for an H visa. But it's very unlikely that the fellowship will give you an H visa. So yes, you'd get a new J visa and then have a new HRR waiver period attach.

4. Once you're in the GC process, you usually get an EAD. That allows you to work in the US, without limitations. Almost all programs will accept it. The only problem is that if your GC application implodes for some reason, your EAD gets invalidated immediately. But that's rather unlikely. I've seen people on EAD's for a decade.
 
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Jinxapotato

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1. Whether or not it's a "new" visa or extension of the old one is an academic issue. You have to submit all the same info again -- the SoN, etc. But it's very straightforward. It does not trigger a new HRR, so you still only "owe" three years in a waiver program.

2. Yes, but the process isn't easy or guaranteed: Extension Beyond the Maximum Duration of Stay (ecfmg.org)

3. Once you complete your J waiver, you now qualify for an H visa. But it's very unlikely that the fellowship will give you an H visa. So yes, you'd get a new J visa and then have a new HRR waiver period attach.

4. Once you're in the GC process, you usually get an EAD. That allows you to work in the US, without limitations. Almost all programs will accept it. The only problem is that if your GC application implodes for some reason, your EAD gets invalidated immediately. But that's rather unlikely. I've seen people on EAD's for a decade.
Thank you SO much for answering these questions!! I will also consult an immigration attourney when the time comes but man they cost a lot...
 
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DrGoT

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Hey @Jinxapotato @NotAProgDirector ! I'm in a similar boat. I'm in IM (PGY1) on a J1 visa and plan to do Heme-Onc. I wanted to ask if you know of anyone who applied for fellowship and J1 waiver positions at the same time? I was hoping to do the same, and if I don't match to fellowship, I'll at least have waiver positions.
 

NotAProgDirector

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In general, you wouldn't apply to both because of the timing. You'll apply to fellowship positions in July with the match the last week of Nov / first week of Dec. If you don't match, you still have 6 months to find a job. You can certainly apply for jobs prior to the match -- but if you start getting offer contracts prior to the match, you may not be able to just "sit on them" until the match is over. Plus, as part of the interview process your future career plans are likely to come up, and if you leave out that you're applying to fellowship that could get you in some hot water.

Let's not forget -- you're on a visa. If you upset someone badly and they feel you are being unprofessional, they could contact the DoS. Theoretically, your visa could be revoked. This seems unlikely but not impossible.
 
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Jinxapotato

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Hey @Jinxapotato @NotAProgDirector ! I'm in a similar boat. I'm in IM (PGY1) on a J1 visa and plan to do Heme-Onc. I wanted to ask if you know of anyone who applied for fellowship and J1 waiver positions at the same time? I was hoping to do the same, and if I don't match to fellowship, I'll at least have waiver positions.
Hey bud, as NotAProgDirector suggested, you won't apply for fellowship and waiver at same time. Depending on your state of choice, applying for waiver may be super easy, or super hard (think North Dakota vs New York). In the latter case you might not have the luxury of waiting until your match result. I'm personally in Arizona n they literally never filled their quota, and our own hospital system has hospitals that take J1...so I'm less stressed about that. You might want to check this with your hospital recruiter.
 
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DrGoT

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In general, you wouldn't apply to both because of the timing. You'll apply to fellowship positions in July with the match the last week of Nov / first week of Dec. If you don't match, you still have 6 months to find a job. You can certainly apply for jobs prior to the match -- but if you start getting offer contracts prior to the match, you may not be able to just "sit on them" until the match is over. Plus, as part of the interview process your future career plans are likely to come up, and if you leave out that you're applying to fellowship that could get you in some hot water.

Let's not forget -- you're on a visa. If you upset someone badly and they feel you are being unprofessional, they could contact the DoS. Theoretically, your visa could be revoked. This seems unlikely but not impossible.
You bring up a great point here, thank you! The only trouble I might face when applying for jobs after match is limited J1 waiver positions in particular locations as @Jinxapotato mentioned. Will only find out where I'll be looking for waiver jobs in February.
 

Residentdoc86

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Finishing up my j1 waiver in a few months, Is it advisable to apply for a fellowship this summer to start July 2022 or wait and apply in 2022 for the 2023 start date? I am Canadian and currently in the process of applying for a green card from my spouse who is a US citizen. Do you think that is enough time to get my EAD before July 2022?
 
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