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thelullaby99
07-25-2011, 01:16 PM
I couldn't find info about this in Saba's webpage. I'm trying to find out if I will be able to get some sort of visa when doing clinical rotation in the US, since I'm neither a US citizen nor Canadian. I just called and the lady at the office gave me some very grim answers. Also, she doesn't have any idea if there are people like me who successfully got visa and able to rotate. I'm not a PR either, or I would be applying to US schools already. So, I'm hoping if anyone know anybody who has a similar situation? How do you get a visa to do clinical rotation while being a pure, international student?

Ps. I'm really hoping that someone knows something.

devildoc8404
07-25-2011, 02:30 PM
I don't know about SABA, but some of the Carib schools send students in your situation to the UK for rotations.

I read recently on VMD that it is becoming harder and harder for non-North-American-citizens to get visas for US clinical rotations. You might try a search, I think the thread was started by a member named "watchingrose." Good luck, that is a tough situation to be in!

coolguyrocks
07-25-2011, 02:54 PM
If you are not a US citizen/GC holder or a Canadian you will not be able to get a B-1 visa to do you clinicals in the US. US changed their policy in June 2011 This applies to only students that went to a non-US medical school. So it applies to every Carib school. Best of Luck

Edit: to add you will still be able to get a H1-B for residency, you just will be unable to do your clinicals in the USA since you need a B-1 for that.

Frostling
07-25-2011, 03:06 PM
If you are not a US citizen/GC holder or a Canadian you will not be able to get a B-1 visa to do you clinical in the US. US changed their policy in June 2011 This applies to only students that went to a non-US medical school. So it applies to every Carib school. Best of Luck

The policy was always present, it was only in June2011 when SGU told students. (This information was brought forth by SGU because a student sought a B1 visa without correct documentation from clinical coordinators/SGU.)

To the OP. The thread that devildoc mentioned will help.

thelullaby99
07-26-2011, 11:54 AM
That doesn't seem too good. It's terrifying. I checked the US State Department website for some more info, but I'll have to dig deeper. I'm already depressed enough as it is due to the application process, now I'll probably not be able to do clinical rotations? I plan to get a green card, btw, but I need the H1B first. And in order to do that, I must do clinical rotations in the US. Am I totally screwed?

thelullaby99
07-26-2011, 12:19 PM
Guys, I just called the US State department asking about this. The guy (Matt) told me that there shouldn't be anything to prevent me getting my visa, the only concern is if I will be getting paid. I said no, and he said everything should be well. But the type of visa I will receive will depend on the consular where I apply.

Has anyone been denied before? I know they would need proper documentation regarding the training and financial support, but those are easy.

Frostling
07-26-2011, 03:12 PM
Guys, I just called the US State department asking about this. The guy (Matt) told me that there shouldn't be anything to prevent me getting my visa, the only concern is if I will be getting paid. I said no, and he said everything should be well. But the type of visa I will receive will depend on the consular where I apply.

Has anyone been denied before? I know they would need proper documentation regarding the training and financial support, but those are easy.

"Has anyone been denied before?" Yes. But there can be numerous other reasons apart from having the proper documentation and financial support.

devildoc8404
07-26-2011, 03:26 PM
You can still do clinical rotations in many of these cases... they are just completed in the UK. It's not like they are being done in a vacuum, and while USCE would be preferable, I have read on this forum that clinicals in the UK are well-regarded in the States.

Remember that you will not likely be talking with "Matt" when you apply for the visa, and a lot of this comes down to what is happening (and who you are dealing with) at the time you are applying.

A lot will depend on where you are from, as well. If you're from the Middle East or Eastern Europe, your chances diminish significantly. It ain't fair, but the world situation is what it is, and getting a visa to visit the US is a lot harder than it used to be.

thelullaby99
07-28-2011, 11:12 AM
Guess it must be hard being from Middle East or Eastern Europe. I'm not from either of those places, and I know how bad it is having to deal with immigration officers. Some are really nice, but I met some snappy ones too. Sometimes they won't take into account that english isn't your native language. They don't care. I can only hope for the best.

Ok, let's say I'll have to do it in the UK. How hard it is to get there and will I be able to match in US?

minukuri
12-25-2011, 12:32 PM
for indian passsport holders its not b1 /b2, that is what visa officer told me, he said we can not do clinical rotations which exceed 6 months, need to apply for j1 it seems, can anyone plz help me how can i do my j1 visa processing.

manuka honey
01-01-2012, 04:52 AM
Guys, I just called the US State department asking about this. The guy (Matt) told me that there shouldn't be anything to prevent me getting my visa, the only concern is if I will be getting paid. I said no, and he said everything should be well. But the type of visa I will receive will depend on the consular where I apply.

Has anyone been denied before? I know they would need proper documentation regarding the training and financial support, but those are easy.

You can get a B1 visa for Clinicals only if your medical school eg SABA has a direct affiliation with a medical school which is physically in the US. You will be rejected otherwise. The US Embassy requires a letter from the US Medical School saying that you are sponsored by them and that your studies are supervised by the direct faculty of the Medicical school. Several students from AUA were rejected including one who had prior to June 2011 was rotating in the US and tried to get an extension. Please read AUA forum, on this . No Caribbean school has a direct affiliation with a US Medical school .

Don't try to get a B1 visa giving a different visa . You will not be able to complete rotations and even if you do you will have problems in getting a residency as you will be checked out and found untruthful.
Several Caribbean schools offer Clinicals in the UK. SGU AUC SMU Windsor.etc.

Good luck

salma78
01-04-2012, 07:02 AM
Actually, it totally depends, I've had no problems. I'm a European citizen and I started rotating on a B1 visa in 2010. It has since expired twice (last time a week ago) and I've had no problems to renew it. Just got my last one yesterday (I'll be done in 3 months). The only problem is the hazzle of having to go home each time (but a good way of getting to see your friends back home on a regular basis I guess :)).

I'm from a small country, so the visa process has been only 12-24 hrs each time - unbelievably fast. I go to the embassy and the next day my passport is in the mail. But those bastards make all non-Americans wait OUTSIDE (for hrs) and last year it was -17 degrees F.. Brrr!!!!
Best of luck!

thelullaby99
01-14-2012, 01:01 AM
Actually, it totally depends, I've had no problems. I'm a European citizen and I started rotating on a B1 visa in 2010. It has since expired twice (last time a week ago) and I've had no problems to renew it. Just got my last one yesterday (I'll be done in 3 months). The only problem is the hazzle of having to go home each time (but a good way of getting to see your friends back home on a regular basis I guess :)).

I'm from a small country, so the visa process has been only 12-24 hrs each time - unbelievably fast. I go to the embassy and the next day my passport is in the mail. But those bastards make all non-Americans wait OUTSIDE (for hrs) and last year it was -17 degrees F.. Brrr!!!!
Best of luck!

If I can ask, how was the process? What documents do they need? And did you go to Saba, or any other Caibbean med school? THANKS!

salma78
01-17-2012, 07:21 PM
If I can ask, how was the process? What documents do they need? And did you go to Saba, or any other Caibbean med school? THANKS!

Well you need everything on the B1 visa checklist (which you can look up on any country's US embassy website) and apply online. This was quite the pain in the *** because I had to try to remember every single country I had visited for the past 10 years and when.. Then there are the rest of the "perfectly normal" questions such as if you've participated in genocide, worked as a prostitue, are planning to commit any crimes while in the US etc. (seriously..).

When you're done filling out your online application, you get a bar code which you can use to schedule an appointment at the US embassy in your country. Have your school mail you an official letter verifying your enrollment and the start date, location and contact info of your first rotation (or more, if you have them scheduled). Pay the application fee and bring the receipt and letter, along with the rest of the stuff included in the application to your interview. You usually can't bring any electronics (incl. cell phones), liquids etc. to the embassies nowadays and there will be airport-type security screening before they let you in.

The first time, my interview was about 10 minutes long, but since the guy's wife was from Cayman (I'm an SMU student), 9 of those were spent talking about beaches and stingrays ;) Very relaxed in other words. He just wished me good luck.

The second time, it took about 5 min and the third time they didn't bother interviewing me at all, just congratulated me on almost being done. Remember, you have to pretend not to want to stay in the US for residency, even if you do. All three times, they processed and sent me my passport with the visa inside within 12-24 hrs (I can add that I've traveled quite a lot and my passport was full of stamps, including a bunch from the middle east, but that was not even brought up).

Unfortunatley, getting the B1 visa is only half the battle and border immigration have no obligation to let you enter the country just because the embassy gave you a visa. When you cross the border, be prepared to end up in "the room" at the airport for a while, because many border immigration agents are not familiar with the concept of Caribbean med. schools and B1 visas. It will be straightened out in the end (don't be afraid to ask for the supervisor - they know the deal) but if you have a connecting flight, make sure to have a long layover at your point of entry in the case of such a situation. Also, you should travel with a letter from the school explaining the layout of your program.

The last thing is to make sure you ask for the I-94 to match your visa (in other words, if the embassy gave you a year-long B1, ask the border agents for a year-long I-94). If not, they usually only give you 90 days by default, at which point you have to either leave the country to get a new stamp or apply for a new one 45 days before it expires (can only be done in a few US cities). I made that mistake the first time (it's all trial and error..) and when I complained to them that it was kind of a hassle having to leave the country in the middle of my rotation, they were like, "all you had to do was ask".


Hope this helps, good luck!!!

thelullaby99
01-17-2012, 07:39 PM
salma78, thanks for the detailed explanation! You requested B1? I read that J1 is the more difficult option, requiring you to go home for at least 2 years after graduation (probationary period). Is this the case with B1?
Either way I'm taking the MCAT and shooting for a school affiliated with a US med school closer to my home country (it also grant MD). I asked similar question few days ago to Saba admin, and the reply could not be more brutal. They admit that 'some' failed to get the visa, and thus couldn't finish the entire curriculum. In such cases, all tuition is not refunded. I am really scared for that last part.

salma78
01-17-2012, 08:01 PM
From what I was told by both my school and the embassy, B1 & B2 visas are the only ones acceptable for foreigners enrolled at Carib schools rotating in the US (unless you already hold another long-term visa and are currently residing in the US on that).The J1 & H1 are for residency and require a sponsor ("To participate in the Exchange Visitor Program (J1), foreign nationals must be sponsored by one of the State Department-designated sponsors". So unless you already have a J1 for some reason, I don't think it would be possible to get one just for rotations.
If you apply for residency in the US and the program sponsors both J1 & H1 visas, then go for the H1. That way, you won't have to leave the country for 2 years afterwards. An H1 requires step 3 though..
I actually don't know anyone who was denied a B1 or entry, but I'm sure your school is telling the truth. Keep in mind that if you do want to go for a US residency, a lot of programs prefer or even require up to a year US clinical experience.

manuka honey
01-18-2012, 06:49 AM
salma78, thanks for the detailed explanation! You requested B1? I read that J1 is the more difficult option, requiring you to go home for at least 2 years after graduation (probationary period). Is this the case with B1?
Either way I'm taking the MCAT and shooting for a school affiliated with a US med school closer to my home country (it also grant MD). I asked similar question few days ago to Saba admin, and the reply could not be more brutal. They admit that 'some' failed to get the visa, and thus couldn't finish the entire curriculum. In such cases, all tuition is not refunded. I am really scared for that last part.

Please refer to islander 98 's experience in the AUA forum . you will find that several people got a refusal after 1st june 2011 Here is the US Embassy in the UK on medical Electives and Clinical training for B1 visas.

Medical Elective

A medical student studying at a foreign medical school and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to take an “elective clerkship” at a U.S. medical school’s hospital without remuneration from the hospital may be eligible for a B-1 visa, or visa free travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Note: The medical clerkship is only for medical students pursuing their normal third or fourth year internship in a U.S. medical school as part of a foreign medical school degree. (An “elective clerkship’ affords practical experience and instructions in the various disciplines of medicine under the supervision and direction of faculty physicians at a U.S. medical school’s hospital as an approved part of the alien’s foreign medical school education. It does not apply to graduate medical training, which normally requires a J-visa).

If applying for a visa, a letter from the U.S. medical school outlining the nature and duration of the elective clerkship should accompany the application. If traveling under the VWP, the letter from the school should be presented to the U.S. immigration official at the port of entry.

Academics, Researchers & Students | Embassy of the United States London, UK (http://london.usembassy.gov/research.html)

You will see from here that only students from foreign schools that are directly affiliated to a US Medical school can get B1visas. SABA SGU and many other Caribbean schools which have offices in the US have no direct affiliation with US medical schools

Good Luck

daressalaam
01-18-2012, 03:37 PM
Hi Salma78

I was wondering what nationality you are? I have never had a problem obtaining a US visa before, but don't want to be rejected and have that on my record. Which Caribbean school did you attend? Does you school have a direct affiliation with a US med school?

In the case of going to the UK for clinical rotations, which visa type should international student's obtain? Will there be any problems with the UK visa?

Thanks!

salma78
01-19-2012, 05:15 AM
Hi Salma78

I was wondering what nationality you are? I have never had a problem obtaining a US visa before, but don't want to be rejected and have that on my record. Which Caribbean school did you attend? Does you school have a direct affiliation with a US med school?

In the case of going to the UK for clinical rotations, which visa type should international student's obtain? Will there be any problems with the UK visa?

Thanks!

No my school (SMU) does not have any direct affiliations with US med schools as far as I know. I do know that one school is working on getting a direct affiliation with a US med school in order to be able to provide their students with application material for an F1 visa - a student visa. Being able to get student visas would make things so much easier for both the schools and the students, so I'm thinking it is well worth their efforts if they succeed.

There was no US law or regulation that changed this summer; what happened was that an SGU student was rejected a B1 visa because his embassy interviewer decided to interpret the law literally (and there has never really been much room for doing rotations under a B1 visa as it it written). As a result of this, SGU contacted the state department for advice and then stopped issuing letters from the school to the students for obtaining a B1.
But this was a school policy change only - if did come not from the government. What is copied from the website in preivous poster's link was always there. It's not new. When my school met with the department of state a couple of years ago, it was them who told us to get the B1 for rotations because it was the only visa acceptable for that purpose. Before that, students would just rotate on their visa waivers (as tourists). This is why I said to apply for a B1 in your own country. The SGU student in question went to the Barbados embassy I believe and I remember a lot of SMU'ers who wanted to start rotations as soon as they left the island, went to the one in Jamaica. It is better go home to your home country for any visa application.

You'd think that a US embassy would be a US embassy regardless of where it's located ad maybe for Americans it is, but since we are not Americans seeking the help of "our" embassy, I've been told repeatedly to avoid going for ex to the one in Jamaica or London (Since I'm not English or Jamaican) - even if they would be closer to me, or have more interview dates available than the one in my own country. Same thing when my first B1 visa expired after a year of rotations; it would have been much cheaper & easier for me to just buy a bus ticket to Canada (since I was rotating in Chicago at the time), but after talking to an embassy there, they adviced me that I should instead fly home to my own country to extend it (because I would risk rejection if applying in Canada) and I have done so ever since.

Even with an F1 visa, you could still be turned away at the border - it is always at the discretion of the border immigration agent (although you do have the right to ask one another agent to make a new ruling and he/she might be nicer). Heck, during basic science some ppl with green cards in my class were threatened at the US border to have them being taken away, because as a green card holder you should be living in the US, not some Caribbean island. Laws can be interpreted in many ways and some border agents are.. well.. less sympathetic than others.
There are never any guarantees, so it is completely up to you if you're willing to take the chance.
But you should make sure to apply to a school that still issues visa letters (call them and ask if they provide those to foregin students wishing to rotate in the US), or else I don't think it will ever work.
Finally, I'm afraid I don't know anything about which visa you would need in England since I'm an EU citizen and would not be needing a visa if having to finish there. I just never looked in to it. I'm sure someone else on here can help you with that.

salma78
01-19-2012, 05:55 AM
I would also like to add that I talk to foreign students rotating on a B1 at my hospital almost every day. Some were issued their first one just now in January and some in the fall of -11. They are citizens of many different countries; Taiwan, Ireland, Canada, South Korea etc. I of course would not meet the ones who got rejected - only the ones that successfully got their visas and entered the US with no problems, but they (along with myself) are proof that B1 visas are still being issued for rotations without problems, as long as our schools still provide us with visa letters..
But anything can change over night; for the better or worse. It's completely impossible to predict the future or to encourage or discourage you to apply to a Caribbean school if you want to rotate in the US. I can only tell you what my experiences are and wish you good luck.







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