This page was designed to provide UConn School of medicine residents training under a J-1 visa status with some useful links, answers to frequently asked questions, and overall helpful information to guide you through some of the complex issues you may encounter in maintaining a valid J-1 visa status. A complete set of information can also be found on the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates website and we highly recommend you become familiar with this information.
J-1/DS-2019 Application Process: Once a signed contract is returned to the GME office, the following steps occur in the shown order;
- The TPL creates an on-line appointment profile to initiate the online application.
- The TPL reviews each resident’s file to determine the required attachments to upload into EVNet.
- The resident accepts the appointment profile through OASIS and pays the ECFMG yearly administrative fee.
- The TPL ensures all attachments have been successfully uploaded and submits to ECFMG.
- ECFMG reviews application. If it is incomplete, it is sent back to the TPL to correct. If it is approved, they electronically submit the data to the Department of State (DoS).
- The DoS records all data and electronically approves sending back to ECFMG. ECFMG prints and signs DS-2019.
- ECFMG mails original DS-2019 to TPL.
- TPL contacts program coordinator/resident to pick up original DS-2019 once received.
J-1/DS-2019 Timeframe for Completion
ECFMG cannot issue a DS-2019 until six (6) months from start of the next contract. Even if the application process is complete seven (7) months prior to the start of the next contract, ECFMG has to wait until the applicant is within six (6) months from the start date of the next contract to transmit information to the DoS in step 5 above.
When to use it and how much time does it save. If you decide to utilize the prepaid airbill, you must inform your TPL prior to documents being submitted to ECFMG. A sample copy of what you (the resident) must obtain can be seen here and must be uploaded when paying the OASIS fee. The only time saved when utilizing this option is in step 7 from above which will be 1 to 2 days. This can be used for DS-2019 issuance, renewals, and travel validation.
A complete set of rules for all traveling can be seen on the Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) page.
Preparing for International Travel
If the J-1 physician or J-2 dependents have travel plans outside the United States and they are not in possession of a travel-validated DS-2019, they must submit a Request for Duplicate Form DS-2019. ECFMG will process the request within 7 to 10 business days and send Form DS-2019 to the physician or training program liaison. In addition to having a travel-validated DS-2019, you must be in possession of a non-expired visa stamp affixed to your passport. Visas may only be obtained at U.S. consulates outside of the United States.
Travel Validated DS-2019s
Valid for up to one year from the date shown in the Travel Validation box located in the lower right side of the original DS-2019 or the "To" date shown in Box 3, whichever comes first.
Paying FICA Taxes
"Resident aliens" are entitled to be exempt from paying FICA (Social Security and Medicare) for two calendar years. The first calendar year counted is the year they arrive, even if it is June as is the case for many of our residents. An exempt resident arriving in the U.S. in June 2015 would be subject to paying FICA effective January 1, 2017. Additional information can be found on the IRS website.
Employment Authorization Documents (EAD Cards)
If your EAD has expired, you must file for a renewal by submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You cannot file for a renewal EAD more than 120 days before your original EAD expires. Further information can be found on the USCIS website.