| | |

Physicians and Physician Employers: What are Your Options when there are No More J-1 Waivers?

International Medical Graduates (IMG) who are subject to the J-1 home residency requirement, and their employers, will find that the demand for J-1 waivers has consistently exceeded supply. While federal agencies can grant an unlimited number of Interested Government Agency (IGA) waivers year-round, they have restrictions on geographical territory and practice areas. Coupled with the high demand for H-1B specialty occupation visas for cap-subject employers, physicians and their employers are left looking for alternatives to practice in the U.S.


Remaining in the U.S. After Residency or Fellowship Training: Exploring the Basics for Physicians with J-1 or H-1B Visa Status.

The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa typically includes a requirement that the IMG return to their home country upon conclusion of their U.S. medical training. There are, however circumstances where a waiver of this requirement may be obtained, including through their work in a so-called qualified position or “J-1 Waiver job”. IMGs working in the U.S. on J-1 visas vs. other non-immigrant visas, has increased from roughly 50% to 80% over the past several years, thus, the competition for J-1 waiver jobs has intensified. IMGs on J-1 visas who wish to pursue careers in the U.S. after their residency or fellowship ends must either find employment which qualifies them for a waiver of the 2 year home residency requirement or qualify for a waiver due to hardship or persecution.