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Immigration for IMGs: A Step by Step Guide


This presentation discusses how foreign-born physicians can get visas to train in the US. Schedule a legal consultation at The 2 most common options are: 1) J Visas - Once an IMG has passed USMLE, Parts I and II, and matches with a medical residency program, he obtains a DS-2019 form from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and either changes his status to J-1 in the US or goes abroad to get a J-1 visa. This subjects him to the 2-year home residency requirement. 2) H-1B Visa - Physicians who have passed all 3 parts of the USMLE and have matched with an employer who agrees to sponsor them for an H-1B visa may do so to avoid having to apply for a J waiver down the road. Most residency programs are "cap-exempt" so the physician does not have to worry about the numerical caps on H-1B petitions. See our Physicians Immigration Guide at – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Immigration for IMGs: A Step by Step Guide

Immigration for IMGs A Step by Step Guide
Immigration Attorney Carl Shusterman Los Angeles,
Visa Options For Residents Fellows
  • J Status
  • H-1B Status
  • Permanent Residence and Other Options

Medical Residency/Fellowship on J-1 Status
  • Passage of USMLE, Parts I and II
  • Acceptance to Program
  • Form DS-2019
  • Apply for Change of Status in US or for J Visa

Consequences of J Status for IMGs
  • 2-Year Home Residency Requirement
  • Must return to Country of Nationality or Last
    Residence for 2 years before obtaining H or L
    visa or Green Card

Medical Residency/Fellowship on H-1B Status
  • Passage of USMLE, Parts I, II III
  • Acceptance to Residency Program
  • H-1B Petition

How to Obtain a J Waiver
  • Persecution
  • Exceptional Hardship
  • To USC/LPR Spouse
  • To USC/LPR Child (under 21 unmarried)
  • Interested Governmental Agency (IGA)

J Waiver Through Exceptional Hardship
  • Procedure
  • Submit Application to CIS
  • Exceptional hardship?
  • State Department Review
  • Benefits
  • No three-year commitment

J Waivers Interested Governmental Agencies
  • Federal Agencies
  • ARC
  • VA
  • HHS
  • DRA
  • Conrad State Programs

Procedure For Clinical IGA Waivers
  • Job Offer in HPSA/MUA/MUP/VA
  • Recommendation From IGA
  • State Department
  • Check Status Online
  • Approval From USCIS
  • Change of Status to H-1B

J Waiver Requirements
  • Work as H-1B for 3 Yrs
  • Change of Employment
  • When to Apply for
  • Permanent Residence

Extraordinary Ability (O-1) Status
  • Extraordinary Ability
  • Petition must include
  • Written contract
  • Major prize/award or
  • Meet 3 of 8 factors

Permanent Residence Employment Options
  • PERM
  • National Interest Waiver
  • The Law (1999)
  • The Regulations (2000)
  • The Lawsuit (2005)

Obtaining Permanent Residence Through PERM
  • PERM
  • Visa Petition (I-140)
  • Application for Adjustment Of Status
  • (I-485)
  • Concurrent Filing
  • Consular Processing

Obtaining Permanent Residence Through National
Interest Waiver
  • Submit I-140 to USCIS
  • 5-year Commitment
  • Change of Employment
  • Submit I-485 to USCIS
  • Concurrent Filing
  • Work/Travel Permits for MD/Spouse/Children

Permanent Residence Other Options
  • Through EB-5 Investment
  • Through Family Categories
  • Through Spouse
  • Through Parents
  • Through Siblings
  • Through Adult Children
  • Through Visa Lottery
  • Through Spouses Job

Immigration Reform Bill in Congress
  • Would make the Conrad 30 program permanent
  • Would make J status dual intent
  • Would exempt spouse/children from 2-year rule
  • Would make it easier for H-1B MDs to change jobs
  • Would eliminate per-country quotas
  • Would provide a faster route for green cards to
    physicians and their families


Finding IMG Resources Online http//
  • We Link to
  • Governmental Sites
  • Conrad 30 Programs
  • HPSA/MUA List
  • Job Opportunities

How to Keep Current
  • Physicians
  • Immigration Guide
  • Social Media
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