Specialty selection and visa status

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New Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2013
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I am a 3rd year US medical student, I am not a US citizen and I am on an F1 visa. I initially came to the US with a J1 visa through a high school exchange program and I already have the 2year home residency requirement which I have not yet fulfilled. My issue is that I am ineligible for H1b for residency due to my prior J1 visa and so my only visa option for residency is through another J1 via ECFMG. This affects my residency options somewhat. Unfortunately for me I am interested in Radiology and it seems possible to do residency in radiology with a J1 but I am noticing through my research that there are not a lot of radiology job opportunities that will sponsor a J1 waiver after residency . There seems to be more opportunities in primary care and other medicine and surgical specialties for a job that will sponsor a J1 waiver. What do folks think with regards to letting specific immigration challenges affect one's residency decision? Any help or thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!


Full Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2006
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Go for the specialty that you want. If you require the J1 waiver after you are finished with residency, you'll either have to work for the VA or in an underserved area for 5 years through the national interest waiver program for physicians.