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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


View Poll Results: Which visa would you prefer?
J1 2
H1b 6
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  #1  
Old 12-11-2014
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Default What visa and why?

As IMGs we have two options for visa, J1 and H1b. I know the word around is that J1 helps you with fellowships but has cumbersome waiver process and requirements. While H1b expedites your process of getting a green card but hampers fellowship chances. Anyways, kindly vote and give your reasons and help everyone!
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Old 12-12-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeingResident View Post
As IMGs we have two options for visa, J1 and H1b. I know the word around is that J1 helps you with fellowships but has cumbersome waiver process and requirements. While H1b expedites your process of getting a green card but hampers fellowship chances. Anyways, kindly vote and give your reasons and help everyone!
You said it all.

H1b does have a waiver but It is employer dependent, meaning you can do it anywhere you find someone to sponsor it.

J1 waiver are only on undeserved area (there are underseved areas even in big cities like nyc and Chicago)

Historically j1 waiver are in awful places with bad pay and bad work hours, but I have heard of plenty of people that do it in good places.

J1 waiver is also very expensive, I don't have exact numbers but one of my mentors mentioned 10-20k usd.

Some hospitals only sponsor j1,cause the lawyer fees and all that are paid by the ecfmg. An h1b waiver will cost the hospital 2k-3k, which is why most fellowship won't sponsor it.

With a j1, even if you were to marry an American citizen, I believe you still would have to do a waiver (citation needed).

The j1 waiver is 3 years. You can spend up to 7 years in the US with a normal j1 visa . Enough time for a im residency + fellowship.

H1b gives you 6 years, I believe.
If you do your residency in an undeserved area, in a state that allows the "national interest waiver program", and you manage to do a fellowship or work there for at least 5 years in that place (depends on state laws) , you can apply directly for a green card. Note : there are lots of conditions needed for this to happen.

Also while it is harder to match in a fellowship with a h1b, it is still possible if you are good and went to a good program. I personally know 2 doctors who matched in top 10 cards programs with an h1b this year. They did however mentioned that they were told h1b was a negative in their application.

Disclaimer : I am not a lawyer
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Old 12-20-2014
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It depends what your goals are. If you want to start working after a primary residency H1B is the way to go. But Fellowships are easier to get with J1, specially the juicy and competitive ones. And to be honest if you finish a high demand fellowship, there many hospital that know how to "fix" your visa situation, they know all the tricks in the book
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