J-1 Application Process

The University of Minnesota's ECFMG Training Program Liaisons (TPLs) will guide you through the J-1 visa application process via email and a detailed checklist.

Your J-1 application process starts when your program notifies the UMN TPL that you will be joining or continuing in the program for the coming academic year.  After the program has confirmed you, the application process proceeds through these steps:

  1. The TPL will contact you (via email from gme@umn.edu) with instructions and a link to the appropriate application checklist.
  2. You will collect the documents and information outlined in the checklist, and submit them to the TPL (via email to gme@umn.edu).
  3. Once ALL application documents are received, the TPL will initiate your online application in ECFMG's EVNet system, upload the supporting documents, and notify you by email of your next steps.  Read more about ECFMG's online application system here.
  4. You will log into your OASIS account to review your online application.  You will complete all remaining required information and pay the administrative/application fee.  Your application cannot proceed until you complete your online portion in OASIS.
  5. ECFMG will review your application, working through the TPL to address any questions or gather any additional documents needed from you.
  6. Once ECFMG has approved your application, they will create your DS-2019 and mail it directly to the TPL.
  7. The TPL will notify you via email that the DS-2019 has arrived, and outline your next steps to receive it.

J-1 application timeframes

The earliest ECFMG can issue your DS-2019 is six months prior to your start date.  In December, the TPL will email all continuing and known new UMN J-1 trainees to share application instructions (see Step 1 above).  New residents matching via the national Match Day in March will receive their instructions via email during the first week in April.

If you have a J-2 spouse dependent who is working, it is very important that you submit your J-1 and J-2 dependent application to the TPL as soon as possible.  Please note that for those J-2 dependents who need an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, the renewal process for the EAD card is lengthy and can take up to 6 months.

Average J-1 application processing times

Standard applications (for ACGME-accredited programs):

  • 4-6 weeks (during the busy season--April, May, June, July)
  • 2-4 weeks (during the non-busy season)

Non-standard applications (for non-accredited programs and any applications requiring Department of State review):

  • 6+ weeks (during the busy season--April, May, June, July)
  • 4-6 weeks (during the non-busy season)

Please submit your application materials early to avoid processing delays!

Application checklists

When contacting you to initiate your J-1 application, the TPL will direct you to the checklist that fits your specific situation:

Initial J-1 applicant checklists

Trainees who are not currently sponsored on a J-1 visa of any type will complete an Initial J-1 application:

Trainees who are currently sponsored on a J-1 Research Scholar visa will complete an Initial Change-of-Category J-1 application:

Continuing J-1 applicant checklists

Trainees who are currently sponsored as J-1 Alien Physicians will complete a Continuing J-1 application:

Other applications

Other applications that can be submitted to ECFMG for J-1 sponsorship are:

  • ABMS Board Application: Applicants seeking an extension of sponsorship to sit for an ABMS member board examination are no longer under an appointment profile at a teaching hospital. As a result, the application process does not require a TPL to initiate an on-line application through EVNet. Instead, applicants seeking continued sponsorship to sit for an ABMS member board examination should login to OASIS and click on the “Board” field. Once the “Board” field is chosen, instructions for submission of the on-line application and required supporting documentation are provided.

 

Application item descriptions and instructions

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Board Recognition

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Board Recognition

  • Required for:
    • Non-standard applications (i.e. programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial and continuing applications
  • Purpose: The non-standard discipline or pathway must be recognized by the appropriate ABMS-member board as documented in writing by the CEO of that board.
  • How to complete: Verify that your program is on the list of recognized non-standard disciplines shown on ECFMG’s website. If it is not on the list, the application must include a letter of support from the ABMS-member board. Find contact information.

Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) & Parent Program Verification Form

Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) & Parent Program Verification Form

  • Required for:
    • Non-standard applications (i.e. programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial and continuing applications
  • Purpose: The non-accredited program must be associated with an ACGME-accredited program.  The program director of the ACGME-accredited parent program and the chair of the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) must attest to this relationship.
  • How to complete:
    • Program downloads the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) & Parent Program Verification form
    • Program completes all known information (may leave ACGME ID numbers blank if not known)
    • Program obtains signature of program director of the ACGME-accredited parent program (NOT the non-accredited program)
    • Program emails to the TPL at gme@umn.edu
    • The TPL completes any additional required information (e.g. ACGME ID numbers), and obtains signatures of the GMEC Chair, Director of GME, and TPL.

Agreement / Contract or Letter of Offer

Agreement / Contract or Letter of Offer

  • Required for:
    • Standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial and continuing applications
  • Purpose: The residency agreement or offer letter contains required details of the J-1 applicant's planned training: the official program name, start and ed dates for the upcoming academic year, PGY level, stipend rate, and signatures of the J-1 applicant and institutional official.
  • How to complete: The UMN GME office generates new agreements annually. These agreements are sent from gme@umn.edu to the J-1 applicant for signature.  Once the applicant has returned the agreement to gme@umn.edu, the agreement is completed and routed internally to the TPL.  Note agreements cannot be generated until after stipend levels are announced for the upcoming academic year.
    • Alternate method: For non-standard situations (e.g. trainee is off-cycle, trainee is applying for an 8th year extension, etc), the program may generate an offer letter (see offer letter template for standard ACGME-accredited program) to be used in lieu of the standard UMN GME residency agreement.

Fellowship Program Description

Fellowship Program Description

  • Required for: 
    • Standard and non-standard fellowship program applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited fellowship programs and fellowship programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial and continuing applications
  • Purpose: The Fellowship Program Description briefly describes the program (fellowships only).
  • How to complete: The Program Coordinator uses this template to develop the program description, and submits it directly to the TPL by email to gme@umn.edu.

Statement of educational objectives (SEO)

Statement of educational objectives (SEO)

  • Required for: 
    • Non-standard applications (i.e. programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial and continuing applications
  • Purpose: Applicant must outline his/her overall educational objectives as an ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physician and how they relate to future professional activities upon return to the home country. This statement must detail the proposed training plan and specify anticipated pathway duration of training in the U.S. Applicants are encouraged to disclose both their short term and long term training objectives.  The statement must be renewed annually.
  • How to complete: Applicant writes this statement as described.  See sample SEO.

Form I-644

Form I-644

  • Required for: 
    • Standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Continuing applications only
  • Purpose: Form I-644 demonstrates that you are in good standing with your current program.
  • How to complete: J-1 applicant fills out Section A (top); J-1 applicant’s current program director fills out Section B (bottom).

Form I-94

Form I-94

  • Required for: 
    • Standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial (if currently in U.S. on a visa) and continuing applications
  • Purpose: Form I-94 is issued to you by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon arrival to a US port-of-entry.  If you arrive via land (from Canada or Mexico) you will be issued a paper card which will be stapled to your passport.  If you arrive via air, you will have an admission stamp placed in your passport and you will be able to download a copy of your I-94 form from the CBP webpage.
  • How to complete: Email a copy of your latest I-94 form.  If it is a card stapled in your passport, send a copy of the front AND back of the card.  If it is available electronically, you can download it from the CBP website.

Copy of passport name page(s)

Copy of passport name page(s)

  • Required for:
    • Standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial applications
      • Continuing applications if passport has been updated since last submission
  • Purpose: A copy of your passport name pages to demonstrate your legal name, passport number, and passport validity (i.e. passport expiration).
  • How to complete: Email a scanned copy of your passport name page(s) or a picture taken with your cell phone to gme@umn.edu.

Curriculum vitae (C.V.)

Curriculum vitae (C.V.)

  • Required for:
    • Standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial applications
  • Purpose: Your C.V. documents all of your activities since medical school graduation.
  • How to complete: Refer to this memo for instructions on perfecting your CV for ECFMG’s purposes.  They are very strict on the format, so please make sure you follow these guidelines to avoid rework.  See also this sample CV.

$325.00 application fee

$325.00 application fee

Note: As of January 1st, 2017 the application fee for ECFMG has raised from $285.00 to $325.00.

  • Required for:
    • Standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial and continuing applications
  • Purpose: ECFMG requires an application fee for each J-1 application submission.
  • How to complete: Pay online via OASIS.

Additional documentation (if applicable)

Additional documentation (if applicable)

  • Required for:
    • Some standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial applications
  • Provide documentation only if applicable:
    • Copies of Form(s) IAP-66 and/or DS-2019 if the applicant has previously held J-1 visa status.
    • Proof of country of most recent legal permanent residence if this differs from country of citizenship.
    • If you are a US or Canadian medical school graduate:
      • Copy of Medical School Diploma: A certified, word-for-word English translation must accompany a non-English document.
      • Full-face passport-size photograph: Original photo required, no faxes or photocopies.

J-2 Dependents

J-2 Dependents

  • Required for:
    • Standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial and continuing applications
  • Purpose: ECFMG is authorized to sponsor the spouse and unmarried minor children of the J-1 Exchange Visitor physician as J-2 dependents. The EVSP Reference Guide offers detailed information on dependent sponsorship.
  • How to complete: For any J-2 dependents (including US-citizen dependents), complete the request via your On-line Applicant Status and Information System (OASIS) account and provide a copy of their passport biographic (name) page or US birth certificate.  US citizen information must be captured on this form, as ECFMG must track them for insurance purposes.

Validation of Initial Arrival

Validation of Initial Arrival

  • Required for:
    • Standard and non-standard applications (i.e. ACGME-accredited programs and programs not accredited by ACGME)
      • Initial applications
  • Purpose: For initial J-1 applicants, the Validation of Initial Arrival is the final step in your J-1 application.  It will alert ECFMG that you have arrived in the country, and prompt them to update your SEVIS records so you can proceed with obtaining a social security number.
  • How to complete: Validation of Initial Arrival procedure.

Additional Resources

ECFMG Application Checklists