Intealth ECFMG

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

Roles and Responsibilities


ECFMG is the only visa sponsor for J-1 physicians who participate in U.S. clinical training programs. ECFMG administers its J-1 Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) in accordance with U.S. Department of State guidelines and the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Section 22 CFR Part 62.27 . To ensure compliance with all federal requirements, ECFMG J-1 sponsorship requires close coordination between the U.S. teaching hospital or residency program, the J-1 physician (also called an “exchange visitor”), and ECFMG’s EVSP.

  • Training Program Liaison (TPL): Each U.S. teaching hospital at which a J-1 physician trains designates an individual to serve as the institution’s TPL. The TPL is responsible for coordinating the sponsorship application process on behalf of the TPL's institution with both prospective and current J-1 physicians and for having knowledge of the J-1 regulations. The TPL works with both ECFMG and J-1 physicians to ensure that the host training site and its J-1 trainees are in compliance with federal requirements for participation.

    TPL responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
    • initiating and managing the sponsorship application process to ensure timely submission of accurate and complete documentation, including primary-source verification of the graduate medical education contract.
    • monitoring the arrival and on-going participation of J-1 physicians.
    • notifying ECFMG in advance of any proposed changes in a physician’s approved training program or activity.

  • Exchange Visitors: J-1 physicians and J-2 dependents, as temporary nonimmigrants, accept the responsibility to understand and adhere to all U.S. laws and immigration regulations specific to their visa status as exchange visitors . In addition to meeting the academic standards required to progress through residency, J-1 physicians have ongoing duties to maintain valid visa status in order to continue to train at U.S. teaching hospitals.

  • ECFMG: As the J-1 visa sponsor, ECFMG is responsible for monitoring the arrival and training progression of J-1 physicians through the creation and maintenance of an electronic record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) . In addition, ECFMG is dedicated to promoting the health, safety, and welfare of J-1 physicians. EVSP has a trained staff of Regional Advisors who work directly with TPLs and J-1 physicians to facilitate the J-1 sponsorship process.

[Last update: March 17, 2021]

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