Foreign national physicians who are not citizens of the US and do not hold Permanent Resident status will need to secure a visa prior to commencement of training in a University of Washington residency or fellowship training program. Information on visas approved for trainees in our programs is outlined in the GME Visa Policy.
Following is a list of important information for residents/fellows sponsored on a J-1 visa:
- ECFMG J-1 Visa Sponsorship Fact Sheet: Outlines eligibility requirements for J-1 visa sponsorship, including ECFMG Certification, duration of participation, and two-year home requirement.
- EVSP Reference Guide: Contains important information on the application process, visa issuance, travel, and maintenance of status.
- Application Materials for J-1 Sponsorship: All application materials must be sent to the Training Program Liaison (TPL) in the GME Office for review and processing. The TPL acts as an intermediary between the ECFMG and the program/exchange visitor, and communicates with the ECFMG on all matters pertaining to J-1 visa sponsorship.
- Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program FAQs
- J-1 Visa Processing Instructions: Documents that outline how to apply for the visa once approved for J-1 sponsorship, and how to maintain visa status.
- Validation of Initial Arrival Form: The ECFMG must confirm the initial arrival to the US of J-1 physicians in the government database (SEVIS) within 30 days of the training start date. Trainees must bring this form (which will be included with the initial DS-2019 paperwork) to the TPL as soon as they arrive in Seattle. Delays in submitting the validation paperwork may cause delays in issuance of the physician's SSN.
- Travel: The Travel information page on the ECFMG web site contains important information that J-1 physicians need to know prior to traveling outside the US. Note: J-1 exchange visitor must have a travel validated DS-2019 prior to traveling outside the US.
In rare circumstances, and only with advanced approval by the GME Office and the UW International Scholars Office, may prospective trainees be approved for H-1B sponsorship by the UW while participating in a UW residency or clinical fellowship program. Requests for H-1B visa sponsorship of a prospective resident or fellow are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the GME Office and the UW International Scholars Office (ISO) prior to ranking of the applicant in a national matching program or extending an offer for appointment to the applicant. H-1B visa sponsorship is not guaranteed for applicants who have already been accepted into a program without prior approval by the institution.