Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program - J1 visa
Information for Australian doctors wanting to study in the USA on an Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.
The Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program was established by the United States of America (USA) to enhance international exchange in the field of medicine and to promote mutual understanding between the people of the USA and other countries through the interchange of persons, knowledge and skills. The J1 visa is a temporary, non-immigrant visa reserved for participants of the Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program.
The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) administers the sponsorship program. Further information on the eligibility requirements and application process can be obtained from the ECFMG website.
A requirement of participation on the Program is a 'Statement of Need' from the applicant's country of last legal permanent residence. This statement provides written assurance that the country needs physicians trained in the proposed specialty and/or sub-specialty. It also confirms the applicant physician's commitment to return to Australia upon completion of training in the USA.
The Rural Workforce Distribution Section provides medical practitioners with the 'Statement of Need' on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. After you have arranged and confirmed your study with an institution in the USA, you will need to provide the following information:
- The specialty/sub-specialty you are to study
- The name and address of the university or hospital of study
- The dates you start and finish your study
- A statement that you intend to return to Australia when your studies are complete.
The information you supply will be used to verify that you will be on a bona fide training placement and should be provided, in writing, to the Rural Workforce Distribution Section no less than 30 days before you intend to commence your overseas training:
Rural Workforce Distribution Section (MDP 154)
Department of Health and Ageing
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
If you change or want to extend your training arrangements, you should contact ECFMG to find out if you will need a new 'Statement of Need' to cover this new study period.