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what are my options if I don't get my visa in time to start?

mamagir

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Sep 30, 2010
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    I got into an IM program that only offers J1 visas. Up until now, I have been unable to get my statement of need from my country. There seems to be a whole lot of red tape!! There is a real possibility of not getting it in time to start. I have already notified my program and subtly asked them what my options were. Their response was "keep trying and we wish you best of luck." This doesn't sound good right? Is it possible to start later than July 1? Can I offer to show up for my rotations but not get paid until my visa comes through? What are my options here?

    Thanks!
     

    gutonc

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      I got into an IM program that only offers J1 visas. Up until now, I have been unable to get my statement of need from my country. There seems to be a whole lot of red tape!! There is a real possibility of not getting it in time to start. I have already notified my program and subtly asked them what my options were. Their response was "keep trying and we wish you best of luck." This doesn't sound good right? Is it possible to start later than July 1? Can I offer to show up for my rotations but not get paid until my visa comes through? What are my options here?

      Thanks!

      You basically don't have any options. Your match agreement/contract is contingent on you fulfilling all required prerequisites, including immigration/visa issues prior to the start of the contract. So if you can't pull it off, the program is well within their legal and NRMP rights to void your match and find somebody to fill your spot.

      Now...a good, honest program would give you a chance to get this taken care of. They could agree to let you start late. They could give you all of your vacation up front. They could get the GME folks at the hospital to help out and try to expedite the situation.

      But they don't have to do any of that. Based on your explanation of their response, this sounds like a typical IMG mill where they've got a dozen or so warm bodies on the back burner waiting for a spot to open up so they won't really lose anything by voiding your contract if you don't get the visa on time.

      You can't show up and work (paid or not) if you don't have the legal right to work.
       

      mamagir

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        Now...a good, honest program would give you a chance to get this taken care of. They could agree to let you start late. They could give you all of your vacation up front. They could get the GME folks at the hospital to help out and try to expedite the situation.

        Yes, this was what a program did for my friend last year when she also couldn't start on time (vacation upfront). I guess it's not my place to out rightly suggest these possibilities or what do you think? I know for sure they can't do anything about expediting it as this stage is a primarily home country issue.

        Sitting tight and hoping for the best! Thanks for your input.
         
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        splik

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          They should have thought about this - my program factored in that I might not be able to start on time due to visa issues and have thus scheduled me to start on a non-resident dependent service. You need to find out what they are going to do about it or if they are going to do something about it!
           
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