In order to participate in any professional engagement (externship, research, residency, etc.) an FMG should inquire about their eligibility for the above mentioned tenure(s) and for a specific visa that would permit them to participate in training for the purpose of becoming a licensed physician in order to provide medical services in U.S.

Our team includes top immigration professionals with over four decades of experience to help provide visa assistance to FMGs. After carefully assessing a candidate’s situation, our team helps you obtain H1-B, TN, Green Card, EB-1, J-1, and many other specialized visas. We have provided this service to candidates from countries such as India, Thailand, China, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany, Egypt, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Iran, Iraq, Canada, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and many more.

Our experts will advise each student on what type of visa best fits their situation, as well as outline all the requirements foreign medical students or graduates have to meet in order to successfully apply and receive visas. More details about each visa can be found below:

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa and ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program

A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to research scholars, professors and exchange visitors participating in medical training programs within the U.S.

J-1 visa is the most common visa type used by foreign and international medical graduates to participate in U.S. GME programs. The Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) sponsors foreign national physicians for the J-1 visa. Find more information here: ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program.

J-1 application requirements:

  • High proficiency in the English language
  • USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK
  • Standard ECFMG Certificate
  • Official letter of acceptance from a GME program affiliated with a medical school
  • Statement of need from the Ministry of Health of the country of residence (LPR) (each country has different rules, call to inquire)

Returning to the Home Country for Two Years

Foreign and international medical graduates must return to their home country for two consecutive years after completion of their training. This period of time is reserved for the purpose of transferring the knowledge they gained in the U.S.


If a foreign and international medical graduate is offered an opportunity that requires a different type of US visa, an individual must obtain a waiver of this 2-year obligation.  After such waver is granted, the candidate’s visa status could be adjusted to H-1B (temporary worker); TN or US permanent resident. Waiver of the two-year requirement is possible only:

  1. If the applicant can prove that he/she may suffer from persecution upon return to his/her home country of legal permanent residence;
  2. If fulfillment of the two-year obligation could cause proven hardship to the applicant’s family (spouse and/or children) whose status is either U.S. citizenship or permanent residency;
  3. If the applicant is sponsored by a certain governmental agency interested in the applicants continued employment in the U.S.

Temporary Worker H-1B

The H-1B visa can be obtained by the employer for their temporary workers in specialty occupations with professional-level degrees for up to six years. H-1B visa does not require a two-year home residence, as does the J-1. H-1B visa provides employment authorization for a specific employer only. The GME program, not prospective trainees (IMGs), must file an H-1B petition on their behalf. To be eligible for an H-1B, the following is required:

  • A full, unrestricted state medical license, the appropriate authorization for the position
  • An MD or full unrestricted foreign medical license
    English language proficiency confirmed by passing the ECFMG English language examination
  • Passage of the USMLE Steps 1, 2 and 3
  • Prearranged job, either temporary or permanent, in a professional field

Once H-1B is issued, it will be valid for a period of three years, with the possibility of extension for a second three-year period. After the 6-year total expires, an FMG is required to return to his/her home country for one year with an opportunity to re-enter the U.S. in an H or L visa category.

Dependent H-4 Visa

An H-4 visa can be issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to the immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders. H-4 Visa is the dependent Visa for H1-B. H-4 Visa holders can work in the U.S., but it is a non-immigrant visa which doesn’t provide a work permit unless the H1-B spouse’s Green Card process has already started.

Disclaimer:  Residents Medical has gathered this information from reputable sources.  Residents Medical is not responsible for the accuracy of this information, as immigration law is ever evolving.  For a detailed assessment, contact us.

Residents Medical is an educational organization that helps medical graduates from around the world with preparation, education, and placement into U.S. Residency Fellowship Programs. We provide a variety of programs that help enhance our candidates’ professionalism and competitiveness for residency positions. Our programs range from USMLE tutoring, hands-on externships, university-based rotations, and research fellowship opportunities to residency placement.

Residents Medical offers a variety of pathways that prepare and assist admitted candidates obtain residency positions in U.S. ACGME accredited residency programs. In part, our affiliation with The Everest Foundation opens up numerous opportunities at top residency programs across the country, allowing us to provide a quality experience that lays a foundation for our candidates’ professional futures.

Acceptance into a Residents Medical program is a systems-based process including interviews with one of our highly experienced Residency Specialists and Director of Admissions. If accepted, our team of GME experts will develop a path and detailed plan for the candidate to follow based on that candidate’s individual strengths, weaknesses, and experience. All our programs are designed to provide an optimal path to residency for each candidate.

Yes, every program that Residents Medical utilizes is ACGME approved.

Yes, we offer fully insured, hands-on, university-based and preceptor-based rotations and externships. Our USCE is unique in that it is based in teaching hospitals.

Residents Medical specializes in helping many Foreign (FMG) and International Medical Graduates (IMG) get into residency programs all over the United States. Our programs include Visa Assistance, Speech Pathology, US Clinical Experience and much more. We have assisted a great number of students and graduates from Caribbean, Indian, Middle Eastern, European, South and North American, Russian, Asian, and African medical schools.

Tuition and fees for our courses and consulting vary depending on many factors, such as the candidate’s history, visa status, training required, desired specialty and other factors. Residents Medical has many payment options and payment plans available.

Our candidates’ success depends fully on following our directions and their individual performance. Residents Medical is a systems-based organization that holds our candidates accountable to have the discipline to follow their plans of action. Rarely does a Residents Medical candidate fail to achieve residency if they stay on course. Interested in applying?

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