5 Things You Need to Know About Hiring J-1 Physicians

Jul 20, 2020

Whether your facility has just become eligible to hire J-1 physicians or you’re an in-house recruiter being asked to hire a J-1 candidate for the first time, your task may feel daunting. Terms like “J-1 visa” and “waiver” can be intimidating if you’ve never gone through the process before. While we always recommend working with an immigration lawyer to manage the complicated parts, here are Inline’s top five pieces of information you should have when hiring J-1 physicians:

  1. They’re just as qualified as U.S. trained physicians. With all of the red tape U.S. born physicians cut through to become licensed, it’s easy to feel uncertain if an internationally trained physician had to meet those same requirements. Rest assured, these candidates wouldn’t receive J-1 visas without meeting U.S. requirements. While J-1 candidates graduated from an international medical school, before becoming eligible to work in the U.S. they must become certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and complete a U.S.-based residency/fellowship.
  2. J-1 candidates are in it for the long-haul. Your J-1 candidate is required to work with your facility for a minimum of three years. This empowers you with more time to retain your J-1 physicians even once their three year requirement has ended. Post J-1 sponsorship, your physician can apply to change their visa status to H1-B or they can obtain lawful permanent residency.
  3. Your J-1 candidate can only work for you. Per the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, J-1 physicians are only allowed to work for your facility while hired under a waiver and they must work a minimum of 40 hours per week. So while many physicians will supplement their salary and take on part-time positions, your J-1 candidate’s time will be dedicated to your facility.
  4. You need to apply for a waiver before hiring a J-1 candidate. It can be confusing knowing which responsibilities are yours and which are the physician’s. Your main responsibility as the hiring entity, is to obtain a J-1 waiver. This is what allows the physician to work for you instead of having to return to their home country to practice for two years. However, to ensure you’re filling out all of the appropriate paperwork and meeting requirements, we highly recommend meeting with legal counsel (we’re happy to recommend if you don’t already have your own).
  5. It doesn’t cost as much as you may think. There’s a reason J-1 visas are such a huge resource for community health centers. While there are costs associated with the visa process, it should never be a deterrent. Considering the cost of a physician vacancy can reach six figures, visa fees are a small price to pay. 

There’s no need to stress over hiring J-1 candidates. While the process is different than what you’re used to, consider that almost one third of U.S. physicians are foreign-born. By utilizing visas, you’re substantially broadening your candidate pool. If you’d like to learn more about hiring J-1 candidates from one of our candidate sourcing experts, schedule a consult with our team.


Recruiters, Visas


Related Articles

21 Jan 2020
Student Loans: Get Off My Back!

Many students, past and present, deal with the necessary haggle of student loans; especially for those pursuing higher education. A survey completed by the AAMC in 2015 states that medical students in particular who graduated that year carried on average $182K in debt, while those who graduated in 2016, rose up to $190K, with nearly 25% carrying more than $200K. Pretty substantial, and frankly “scary” numbers for a medical student. In additional to this burden, about 33% of these students still carry a debt from their undergraduate studies, which is typically around $24K.

Now that we've fed you the veggies, how about some good news? Once you matched into a residency program, the general salary for a first-year resident is $52.5K. Though you may not be jumping out of your shoes, there are many programs available beyond your initial salary that can help you chip away at those lingering debts. For example, a ten-year plan would pan out to about $2,000 per month in payments (with $182K in loans). 

Solution number one is to finance your debts through a private lender. This could provide you with a lower interest rate, but you’ll have to pre-qualify first via few factors, including your credit as well as your current income. Solution number two is to consider working for an organization in a state that offers a student loan assistance program. Though it varies by area, certain states can knock away a considerable piece of those loans in just a few years. In Texas, the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program offers up to $160K for over four years of practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). In New York, Doctors Across New York provides an additional payment of up to $150K over a five-year commitment to doctors practicing in underserved areas.

The student loan forgiveness state programs are a valuable resource, and should be taken into serious consideration when deciding on a destination and facility of choice. Perhaps you’re thinking of immediate relief, or more of a short-term solution. To be honest, that is not really feasible with $200K in debt. But, when negotiating your “dream” role, it is important to use that as an opportunity to obtain a possible sign-on bonus as well as relocation assistance to help ease the burden, at least temporarily. Keeping a positive mind-set, and considering all possible solutions, can help you achieve your goals of financial growth and stability as a physician.

28 Jan 2020
What is Digital Marketing & How Can it Help Recruit Physicians?

When asked if they’ve “gone digital,” many companies will say, “Of course. We have a website, a Facebook page, and we send email campaigns!” While this kind of online presence is important, digital marketing consists of much, much more. 

Digital Marketing is an action. And not just a single action, but an ongoing, evolving action that empowers you to spend your marketing dollars as efficiently as possible. The first step is putting a piece of content online. What transforms this into digital marketing is the data.

Imagine you see an online job posting. You’re pleased with your current employer, but if a better opportunity presented itself, you’d be interested. In this case, you see a job with a great company and it would cut your commute time in half. You click on the listing, quickly scan it over, make a mental note to return to it later, and move on with your day. 

We all know what happens next: you completely forget you ever saw it. We all see thousands of ads per day. The odds of your one ad being remembered are slim. This is where digital marketing steps in. Remember the job listing you clicked on and forgot about? Since you engaged with the ad, you’ll eventually see a similar ad again. 

This retargeting empowers the workforce to see those jobs they are most interested in and inform themselves about the employer. It also empowers your organization to engage with candidates who have a strong interest in your opportunity. If you’d like to learn more about digital marketing for physician recruiting, click here to schedule a time to speak with a member of our business development team.

30 Jan 2020
How To Avoid Being a Job Hopper

As a physician or advanced practitioner, there are opportunities all over that can expand your experience and your skills, but when it comes to the best time to move from one job to the next is tricky. Everyone’s situation is somewhat the same in one way or another; the specialty isn’t what they expected or the facility wasn’t the right environment for them. Things happen, and wanting to change them for the better is completely understandable; but when it comes to consistently changing jobs year after year, that could potentially ruin your chances in obtaining your “perfect job.”

Before transitioning from one position to the next, ask yourself this: How long have I worked at this facility and how long was I at my previous job?

  • If your employment list is short, or you have worked at a facility for a couple years or more, the chances of being seen as a job-hopper is slim.
  • If you have worked with several employers, and have only been at each for a year or less, that may bring up concerns from future employers.
  • If you have worked with your current employer for a year or less, identify your reason for wanting a change.

Ask yourself why this position is not working out for you, is it because of salary, hours, or location? What position are you wanting to transition into and why? Carrying on from why you are leaving your previous position for another; what are you seeking to improve or gain more experience in?

Hopefully by identifying your job history and maintaining a balance when transitioning from one job to another, you should have no problem in avoiding job-hopping.