Intealth ECFMG

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

Exiting J-1 Sponsorship

ECFMG Exchange Visitor Physician Exit Survey

The ECFMG Exchange Visitor Physician Exit Survey is the final J-1 visa sponsorship requirement. Exit survey invitations are sent to exchange visitor physicians who do not seek an extension of their J-1 visa sponsorship, or who are no longer attached to a training institution because their sponsorship has been extended for a board examination.

Applying for an ABMS Member Board Examination Sponsorship Extension

An ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physician may apply for a sponsorship extension following completion of clinical graduate medical education (GME) activities if s/he is registered for an examination administered by an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Board. Review the ABMS Member Board examination checklist for information on the application process and requirements.

Departing the United States

J-1 physicians must depart the United States within 30 days of completion of full-time participation in a training program, as defined by the dates on Form DS-2019 . While there is a “30-day grace period during which J-1 physicians and J-2 dependents can remain in the United States, there is no employment or training authorization during this time. Remaining in the United States beyond the grace period can have serious repercussions for future immigration or visa applications. The 30-day grace period may not apply in instances of early departure due to termination. Consult with ECFMG if early departure from a training program is being considered.

Following J-1 visa sponsorship, the two-year home-country physical presence (foreign residence) requirement [ยง212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended] requires that J-1 physicians and accompanying J-2 dependents reside in the home country for an aggregate of at least two years before being eligible for certain changes or adjustment in visa status in the United States.

If a J-1 physician receives a U.S. Department of State waiver recommendation, s/he is no longer eligible for an extension of ECFMG J-1 sponsorship for any training activity. ECFMG has no authority to make exceptions to extend J-1 sponsorship to allow for continued training for any individual who has received a favorable waiver recommendation, regardless of circumstances. Sponsorship extensions for waiver recipients to prepare to sit for an ABMS Member Board examination are permitted. Such extensions carry no training authorization.

Exchange visitor physicians who exit the sponsorship program are invited to participate in the Exchange Visitor Physician Alumni Program.

[Last update: March 17, 2021]

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