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I am an international graduate applying for both neurology and internal medicine, and neurology is my first choice. I am applying for internal medicine because I like it too (although not my favorite specialty) and because H1b visa is my only option, while not many categorical neurology programs sponsor H1b visa.
Now I have just got a pre-match from an internal medicine categorical program that is willing to sponsor me H1b visa. I am thinking of completing my first year and then switch to a neurology program. In this way, I guess I will be able to transfer the H1b visa to a neurology program that does not sponsor H1b visa. In addtion, I can fulfill my first year of prelimary medicine training.
However, I understand the program director will be reluctant to let any residents leave (although this program has 12 residents per year), because he will have to find other people to fill the spot. In addition, will the PD get so angry that he terminates my H1b visa immediately or file law suits against me?
In addition, is it really easier for a program to accept H1b transfer than to sponsor H1b by itself? In fact, a few very strong neurology programs offer me prematch, but they only sponsor J1 visa. Unfornately, my government does not support J1 visa at all. And I also got interviews from quite a few programs that do not guarantee preliminary year.
Do you think it is very risky to switch to a neurology program after PGY-1?
Or should I wait until the end of the PGY-3 to enter a neurology program? However, I am not sure if american government will fund a second residency. In addition, since H1b visa is only good for 6 years, how can I enter a fellowship after 3 yrs of IM plus 3 yrs of neuro?
Any input will be greatly appreciated!
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