- The J-1 visa , also known as an exchange visitor. In this case, the applicant would enter the category of researcher or scholar, and not the category of physician .
- The H-1B visa , or the temporary visa for specific professions. Although the places granted each year for this visa are limited, there is no limit if you work in non-profit entities or public institutions.
- The O-1 or special talent visa is for professionals who can demonstrate extraordinary abilities.
- The TN visa for Mexicans or Canadians. If teaching or research is combined with patient care, it is important that these candidates are not in academic work for more than ten percent of the work hours.
- Residence sponsored by an employer.
Visa Requirements for Foreign Doctors in Contact with Patients
- Medical studies completed in the country of origin.
- Unrestricted license from the country of origin to practice medicine.
- Medical residency made in the United States even if it has been completed in the country of origin.
- Approved English proficiency test (administered by ECFMG ) except for professionals who come from an English-speaking country.
- Approved USMLE exam, except for specialists recognized internationally for their work. This is the exam that the medical license grants.
- Medical license approved in the state in which you want to work.
- Hague Apostilles for all documents from the country of origin.
Visa Options for Medical Residency in the United States
- The J-1 or exchange visa. In this case the ECFMG can grant a sponsorship and it lasts for the time required to complete the medical residency. One of the advantages of this visa is that it allows spouses to obtain a J-2 visa and work in the United States. In addition, the J-1 allows the accompaniment of unmarried children under the age of 21, who can study for free in public schools in the United States. The drawback of this visa is that it prohibits the permanence in the United States once the residence is finished, but it is possible to apply for a permit (waiver) and obtain the work visa if you are married to a citizen or permanent resident, if you suffer from persecution in the home country, if a government agency is interested in the applicant’s work,
- The H-1B visa is much more complex to obtain because, in addition, the candidate must prove that he will be paid, at least, the average salary for his position. You must also have a visa petition from each of the hospitals where you want to work. As in the case of physicians applying for residency, these applicants must pass the ECFMG exam and have completed the USMLE. This visa is approved for three years and can be extended for up to six. In this case, family members accompanying the doctor cannot work in the United States, although their unmarried children under 21 years of age can study.
- The permanent resident visa is another option if an employer sponsors it, or there is self-sponsorship for internationally established doctors who want to reside in the United States.
- The L visa , or transfer between multinationals, if the candidate works in their country of origin in a clinical center with a branch in the United States.