Fort Lauderdale J-1 Visa Attorneys
Helping Immigrant Physicians Come to the U.S.
At Guerra Sáenz, PL, our team of seasoned immigration lawyers in Fort Lauderdale are committed to using our extensive knowledge of the law to help immigrant physicians obtain the visas they need to come to the United States to train in the medical field. Most immigrant physicians trying to come to the United States on visas do so under the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program or the Professor and Research Scholar Program. We know the qualification criteria for both programs and can guide you through each phase of the application process to give you the best chance of being issued the DS-2019 Form you need to petition for a J-1 Visa.
Call our J-1 Visa lawyers in Fort Lauderdale at Guerra Sáenz, PL by dialing (954) 466-0323 or complete an online form. We serve West Palm Beach, Broward County, Lee County, and Miami-Dade County. Se habla Español.
What Is the J-1 Visa?
Immigrant physicians approved to come to the United States to participate under the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program will be issued a J-1 Visa. This program is administered by the Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). Another type of J-1 visa is the Professor and Research Scholar Program, which is managed directly by higher education institutions, such as universities and medical schools.
J-1 Visa Requirements
The ECFMG has an exclusive designation to administer the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, which means the Commission directly issues the DS-2019 Form to qualifying foreign nationals. This means that immigrant physicians have to first obtain a “home country concurrence” statement from the Ministry of Health of their home country that explains the country’s need for physicians to be trained in the medical discipline in the United States. Immigrant physicians must also file a written statement that says they will return to their home country to work in the medical field for at least two years after completing the program.
Physicians from other countries who wish to petition for the J-1 Visa must meet the following:
- Applicants must prove that they have a residence in a foreign country that they don’t intend on abandoning after the completion of the exchange program.
- Applicants must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (Form DS-2019) from the program sponsor
J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Duration Guidelines
Physicians must participate in the J-1 Exchange Visitor program for either seven years of progressive training or the period of time that is required for specific training purposes. Although extensions are available for Exchange Visitors, they must meet the “exceptional need” requirement by having the home country demonstrate how the extra time training in the U.S. will satisfy crucial practice needs in the home country. Immigrant physicians must also show they intend to leave the U.S. at the conclusion of the training. Extension requests can’t be filed until the physician is in the final 30-day grace period of their status.
Immigrant physicians can also choose to file a J-1 waiver extension request while their initial waiver is still pending. The Department of State authorizes J-1 extensions up until the waiver application receives favorable recommendation. It is important to note that the Department of State doesn’t consider a pending waiver as a negative factor for J-1 extension purposes, but physicians are required to disclose on the extension application that they filed a waiver.
Can Exchange Visitor Status Be Reinstated?
If an Exchange Visitor fails to keep program status for more than 120 days after DS-2019, it is considered a violation.
To reinstate Exchange Visitor status, the physician must prove the following:
- The violation of program status resulted from circumstances beyond their control
- Failure to receive reinstatement of status would result in unwarranted hardship
We Can Assist with Your J-1 Visa Petition Today
When you choose the experienced lawyers at our law firm to handle your J-1 Visa petition, we will take care of all the necessary paperwork and make sure everything is properly completed and filed on time. We know how frustrating the immigration process can be, but with our legal team in your corner, you can trust that your best interests are protected throughout your entire immigration case. Our goal is to make certain you get the right visa you need to come to the U.S. without any unnecessary delays, so please reach out to us today to get the top-notch representation you deserve.
To schedule a consultation with a Fort Lauderdale J-1 Visa attorneys at Guerra Sáenz, PL call (954) 466-0323 or contact us online to learn more.