Changes In Visa Processing

J-1 Update: Changes in Visa Processing

Melissa Knipp

J-1 physicians can no longer use premium processing to expedite the review of their visa applications.

Previously, J-1 physicians could ensure the review of their application for a H1-B visa would take less than two weeks. Now, with suspension from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, they no longer have this option.

The amount of time they must wait for their application to be processed is uncertain and could be anywhere from six to eight months.

This means that if a J-1 physician finishes training and takes their boards, they must return to their home country until the H1-B visa is granted and they can begin employment. This could be a period of several months.

Having a substantial gap between when a J-1 physician is offered a job, and when they can actually start is not ideal. The best way to combat this uncertainty is to start the job search 15 to 18 months before the end of training. Having more time to navigate the obstacles of the job search, both expected and unexpected, will be crucial to J-1 physicians securing a job.

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