International Graduates

Graduates of international medical schools, whether American or foreign nationals, should contact the Medical Board of California for current requirements to commence postgraduate training and to receive subsequent licensure.

Medical Board of California
Licensing Program
2005 Evergreen St., Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone: (916) 263-2382
Website: http://www.medbd.ca.gov

Foreign nationals must consider current visa requirements for training. Either a permanent resident card, a valid employment authorization document (EAD), or a J-1 visa sponsored through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is required. J-1 visas allow for a maximum stay of seven years. The ECFMG may be contacted directly for visa sponsorship application information and current immigration regulations for post-graduate training. You may contact the ECFMG at:

Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
3624 Market St., 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
Phone: (215) 386-5900
Website: www.ecfmg.org

Foreign nationals without permanent residency status or other employment authorization who are U.S. medical school graduates may participate in their first year of post-graduate training with school authorized F-1 Optional Practical Training and employment authorization document (EAD) issued by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).

Training beyond the first year requires either a J-1 visa (see above) or an H-1B visa. An H-1B visa is institution-specific and requires the host institution to petition the USCIS for sponsorship. This visa is valid for a maximum stay of six years and requires the passing of Steps I, II and III of USMLE. [Step II now includes English Proficiency.]

Foreign nationals who are graduates of international medical schools may qualify for H-1B sponsorship. In order to qualify for H-1B sponsorship, the foreign medical graduate must possess a "Post Graduate Training Authorization Letter" [previously referred to as "Applicant Status Letter"] issued by the Medical Board of California in addition to Steps I, II and III of USMLE.

For additional information, foreign nationals considering a Cedars-Sinai training program should contact:

Cedars-Sinai Visa & International Service Administration (VISA) Academic Human Resources

Immigration and Licensing
Phone: (310) 423-2427
Fax: (310) 423-0345
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