Visiting Students: What type of visa will cover my time in the United States?

Please see the following information on visas for medical students traveling to the United States. This information is subject to change, so please consult with your local embassy for travel requirements.

When applying for one of the visas below, you may request an instructional sheet from our office by submitting a ticket through UserVoice.

VISA INFORMATION FOR MEDICAL ELECTIVE PROGRAM

In order to engage in a clerkship at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University you will need to enter the U.S. in either B-1 status, under the Visa Waiver Program's WB status (specific to only 36 countries, cited in link below), or as a Canadian National.  Below we discuss the B-1, WB, and specific issues for Canadian Nationals.  Please note:  F-1 or J-1 visa status is not applicable to the medical elective program.  All medical elective candidates should present the pre-approval letter (sent via email) issued by the P&S Medical Education Office when applying for a visa, and/or applying for entry into the U.S.

Please read the following information carefully to determine which visa status you will choose to enter the U.S.

For students entering in B-1 status: In order to engage in a clerkship at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University you can apply for the B-1 visa.  The B-1 is issued for business purposes and can be used specifically for individuals who are studying in a foreign medical school and will take an elective at a U.S. medical school.  Please see the citation below from the Foreign Affairs Manual.* You will need to apply for the B-1 at a U.S. Consulate if you do not already have a valid B1/B2 stamp in your passport.  When applying, please bring your pre-approval letter (sent via email) from Columbia, which includes the dates of your clerkship.  After receiving your B1/B2 entry visa, present your pre-approval letter (same one presented to the U.S. Consulate) to the Immigration official at the border.  The official should give you an I-94 card annotating B-1 status and the period of time needed to complete the clerkship.

For students entering in WB status: In order to engage in a clerkship at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University you will need to enter the U.S. in the Waiver Program's WB status.  The WB is equivalent to the B-1 which is issued for business purposes and can be used specifically for individuals who are studying in a foreign medical school and will take an elective at a U.S. medical school.  Please see the citation below from the Foreign Affairs Manual.* Under the Visa Waiver Program, the visa requirement is waived. Present your pre-approval letter (sent via email) from Columbia, which includes the dates of your clerkship to the Immigration official at the border.  The official should give you a (green) I-94 card annotating WB status for a period not to exceed 90 days, which is the duration allowed under the WB.  If you require more than 90 days, you will have to apply for the B-1 visa at an American consulate (see above).

Please note that there are very specific requirements for those entering the U.S. under the VWP.  See http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html for details.

For Canadian Nationals:  In order to engage in a clerkship at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University you will need to enter the U.S. in B-1 status.  The B-1 is issued for business purposes and can be used specifically for individuals who are studying in a foreign medical school and will take an elective at a U.S. medical school.  Please see the citation below from the Foreign Affairs Manual.* As a Canadian citizen, the visa requirement is waived.  Present your pre-approval letter (sent via email) from Columbia, which includes the dates of your clerkship, to the Immigration official at the border.  The official should give you an I-94 card annotating B-1 status and the period of time needed to complete the clerkship.

If, after carefully reviewing the information above, and visiting applicable websites, you have questions related to visa issues please contact Bonnie Garner via email atBLG12@columbia.edu. Questions regarding the Elective Program should be addressed to pselectives@columbia.edu.

9 FAM 41.31 N10.4 Clerkship, 9 FAM 41.31 N10.4-1 Medical* (CT:VISA-701; 02-15-2005) An alien who is studying at a foreign medical school and 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. 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 is restricted by 212(e) and normally requires a J-visa.)

Visiting Students

  1. Visiting Students: Do I have access to CROWN?
  2. Visiting Students: How do I apply for electives at CUMC/P&S?
  3. Visiting Students: Do you allow 2 or 3 week electives?
  4. Visiting Students: How are applications considered or processed?
  5. Visiting Students: I don't want to accept the offer I was given. Can I receive a different offer from my selections?
  6. Visiting Students: Is housing available on-campus?
  7. Visiting Students: Do I receive a Columbia UNI/email address?
  8. Visiting Students: Is there an application fee?
  9. Visiting Students: Where do I obtain my CUMC ID?
  10. Visiting Students: How do I access patient files?
  11. Visiting Students: I want to close my application.
  12. Visiting Students: Where can I receive my scrub code?
  13. Visiting Students: Can I request different dates?
  14. Visiting Students: Where do I receive my CUMC evaluation(s)?
  15. Visiting Students: Are the electives I applied to available?
  16. Visiting Students: I was charged twice for the application/attendance fee. How can I receive a refund?
  17. Visiting Students: I am from an unaffiliated international school. Can I still apply?
  18. Visiting Students: I am an international student, and I need a verification letter for my visa application.
  19. Visiting Students: Can I use P&S Student Health Services?
  20. Visiting Students: What vaccinations do you require?
  21. Visiting Students: Where and when do I report to my rotation?
  22. Visiting Students: I want to work with a specific faculty member at P&S. How do I set up a self-arranged opportunity?
  23. Visiting Students: Do you provide parking or parking discounts?
  24. Visiting Students: Can I check books out of the P&S and hospital libraries?
  25. Visiting Students: I need certification that I attended CUMC/P&S for a license/residency program.
  26. Visiting Students: What type of visa will cover my time in the United States?

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