ECFMG is the only visa sponsor for J-1 physicians who participate in U.S. clinical training programs. ECFMG administers its J-1 Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) in accordance with U.S. Department of State guidelines and the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Section 22 CFR Part 62.27. To ensure compliance with all federal requirements, ECFMG J-1 sponsorship requires close coordination between the U.S. teaching hospital or residency program, the J-1 physician (also called an “Exchange Visitor”), and ECFMG’s EVSP.
- The U.S. teaching hospital or residency program designates a Training Program Liaison, or TPL, to serve as the official institutional representative to manage communication with ECFMG on behalf of all J-1 physicians enrolled in its programs. A designated TPL streamlines communication between the training program, J-1 physician, and ECFMG. This communication ensures regulatory compliance and provides required administrative oversight.
Specifically, the TPL is required to:
- initiate and manage the sponsorship application process to ensure timely submission of accurate and complete documentation, including primary-source verification of the graduate medical education contract.
- monitor the arrival and on-going participation of J-1 physicians.
- notify ECFMG in advance of any proposed changes in a physician’s approved training program or activity.
- understand and accept all responsibilities outlined in ECFMG’s EVSP Reference Guide.
- attend and participate in ECFMG’s educational webinars and other outreach programs, when possible, including on-site hospital visits, conferences, etc.
- J-1 physicians and J-2 dependents, as temporary non-immigrants, accept the responsibility to understand and adhere to all U.S. laws and immigration regulations specific to their visa status as Exchange Visitors. J-1 physicians are required to maintain a current e-mail address in ECFMG’s OASIS to ensure direct communication on regulatory updates, visa status expiration notices, and special alerts.
- As the J-1 visa sponsor, ECFMG is responsible for monitoring the arrival and training progression of J-1 physicians through the creation and maintenance of an electronic record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). EVSP has a trained staff of Regional Advisors who work directly with TPLs and J-1 physicians to facilitate the J-1 sponsorship process.
Back to top