Visa Options for Graduate Medical Trainings in Clinical Programs

The J-1 visa is a common category carved out for international visitors seeking to participate in a clinical exchange program within graduate medical education or training. The Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is the only J-1 exchange program sponsor authorizing clinical exchange visitors for this purpose.

At UCSF, all visitors participating in a clinical fellowship or residency must be in a J-1 visa sponsored by ECFMG. Exceptions can only be made if: 1) the visitor is currently in an H-1B status at a different institution and has the appropriate license or other authorization required by CA Medical Board. In this case, ISSO will assist in filing an H-1B transfer; and/or 2) the international visitor is a graduate of an accredited U.S. medical school.

Instructions for J-1 visas Sponsored by ECFMG

1) Visit ECFMG website for instructions, fee information and application forms.

2) Follow the instructions carefully. Choose the appropriate program application (i.e. ACGME vs. Non-Standard) and complete the application forms and required support documents.
*Note: ISSO is the Training Program Liaison (TPL). For forms requiring TPL's signature, please leave the signature box BLANK

3) Download ISSO Fee Form and attach a check in the amount of $330.

4) Submit the completed ECFMG application packet, ISSO fee form and appropriate fee to ISSO

5) ISSO will review the application, contact your department if additional information is required and complete the application with the TPL's signature

6) ISSO will forward the completed application to ECFMG for final review and approval.

Once ECFMG approves the application and submits Form DS-2019 to ISSO, ISSO will notify the UCSF department and international visitor, and provide instructions regarding ISSO check-in procedure.