ECFMG Scholars

Important! You must physically check in with the ISSO office upon arrival at UCSF with your passport and DS-2019 before you can perform any functions relating to your program.

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is authorized by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to sponsor all J-1 exchange visitor physicians who participate in clinical training programs or advanced research programs (involving primarily observation, consultation, teaching or research). ECFMG is responsible for ensuring that J-1 physicians and host institutions meet the federal requirements for participation. ECFMG does not sponsor physicians for other U.S. visa types.

ECFMG facilitates J-1 visa sponsorship through the coordinated efforts of training institutions and foreign national physician applicants. ECFMG verifies that the foreign national physicians meet J-1 eligibility requirements. The host institution is responsible for providing the J-1 physician with the approved clinical training. Each host institution designates a Training Program Liaison (TPL) who serves as the official representative to communicate with ECFMG. Immediately after obtaining a training contract, the foreign national physician should initiate the sponsorship process by contacting the TPL at the host institution.

Upon establishing an applicant's eligibility, ECFMG issues Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. The physician may also request Form DS-2019 to enable dependents (spouse and unmarried, minor children) to apply for J-2 dependent status. Issuance of Forms DS-2019 indicates that the physician and dependents are eligible to apply for the J visa.

The J-1 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa used by participants in the Exchange Visitor Program. In keeping with the Program's goals for international education, J-1 exchange visitor physicians are required to return home for at least two years following their training before being eligible for certain U.S. visas.

Obtaining ECFMG Sponsorship at UCSF

For instructions on obtaining ECFMG J-1 Alien Physician sponsorship at UCSF, please visit our ECFMG Department Guide