Visas

All international candidates chosen for the study, research or training programs offered through Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and its affiliated or training hospitals must have a valid United States visa. Visa applications are requested through the sponsoring department of the program you will be participating in.  The Office of International Affairs (OIA) processes most visa requests.

Click on one of the tabs below for details on the type of visa that will most likely be required for the TUSM position you are seeking.

The Graduate Medical Education offices of the TUSM affiliated and training hospitals that appoint residents and fellows through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) bring international appointees here under a J-1 visa. Hospitals that directly sponsor their international appointees bring them here under an H-1-B visa. That determination is made, and communicated to applicants, by the hospital.

  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to visitors participating in programs to teach, conduct research or receive training. The J-1 Research Scholar Category and Short-Term Scholar Category generally apply for research and training positions through TUSM-affiliated and training hospitals. J-1 visa holders may stay in the United States until the conclusion of their research program.
  • H-1-B Visa is a non-immigrant visa for Temporary Workers in a Specialty Occupation. The applicant must hold a home-country bachelor’s-level degree or equivalent education and experience in an applicable specialty-related field. An H-1-B visa is valid for three years, extendable to six years by request.

How to Get a Visa

Where to apply: All visas are issued only in United States embassies and consulates outside the country, and require additional documentation, including evidence (such as a sponsor guarantee letter) that applicants are able to financially support themselves during their stay in America, and a personal interview. Additional visa requirements information is available on the Temporary Visitors page of the U.S. Department of State's Web site.

Requirements for Clinical Care: Residents, fellows and research scholars who will be participating directly in clinical care must obtain a special type of J-1 visa. The J-1 Clinical Visa applicant must be sponsored either by a home-country government or institution, which must file a certificate of eligibility for the candidate; and they, together, must jointly fill out a Placement Plan form with the TUSM-affiliated or training program supervisor.

Waiting time for visas: The typical waiting time to receive a visa from various embassies and consulates is available on the U.S. Department of State Web site.  In some cases administrative processing can lengthen that time considerably, so visa applicants should plan ahead. When mailing necessary documents to the embassy or consulate, they also are advised to send them “return receipt requested.”

US. Government Registration Requirements

All international TUSM-affiliated program participants applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa must be registered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the United States Department of Homeland Security/State Department Web-accessible database for ongoing monitoring of information about exchange visitors, international students and scholars. SEVIS registration is part of the visa application process and is completed by the Office of International Affairs. Visa applicants must pay the required SEVIS fee before securing an embassy appointment for their visa. 

Additional information is available on the U.S. visa requirements web site.