Thursday, June 7, 2018

SON 101

Statement of Need [SON]

1. What is the SON?

This is a document issued by the Ministry of Health[MOH] which states that they are lacking physicians in the required specialty and thus need more trained physicians. It also mentions that the concerned person signed a bond with the government that the person will return to his/her country after the required training within 2 months and will stay for at least 2 years or pay 5lakh rupees.

2. Who should apply for it?

Everyone applying for J1 -exchange visitor visa for residency must apply. People requiring H1b need not. It is also not required for J1-research scholar visa.

3. Where can I get the application form for SON?

You can get it from the ministry of health website here

4. What should all be included with the application form?

             a)Completed application form [ANNEX A, C, and D]
             b)Surety Bond [ANNEX I].
             c)Contract or offer letter.
             d)Copy of your passport.
             e)Copy of Visa if living out of the country.

5. How do I make the surety bond?

Surety bond should be made on a 100rs nonjudicial stamp paper. The format is in the application form. You can fill it out in the word format and print it out. Only the first page should be the stamp paper, Rest can be A4 sheets or judicial yellow pages without a stamp. It doesn’t matter how many pages it comes until you have everything in the bond. All the pages must be notarized and also be signed by you and your sureties.

6. How do I send it?

Via speed post or courier. Anyway, should be fine. Send it through something with a tracking number so that you know when it reaches. The following is the address:
Under Secretary (IC)
International Cooperation SectionMinistry of Health and Family Welfare(Department of Health & Family Welfare)Room No. 514, 'A' WingNirman Bhavan, New Delhi 110 011, India

7. I applied, what do I do now?

Call them after 2 working days from the time your application reaches @ Phone: (011-91-11) 2306-3068/2306-1945 or email @ and ask for your application number. They are pretty responsive to both but more to the calls. Also, ask them for the time frame of when it will be signed. The applications are numbered in the sequence they receive and are processed in the same sequence.

8. Should I personally go to submit or collect the form?

You can personally go in if you stay near Delhi. For submitting if you go, you save a couple of days which might not make much of a difference. Once the SONs are issued they are sent out in bulk and you will not have a tracking number. So, while collecting, when you collect it by hand you can send it to ECFMG from there itself you can save a week at least.
Do not forget to inform them if you are collecting by hand so that they keep your SON aside rather than posting it.
When you go to MOH, go to the gate 5 Nirman Bhawan, get a pass made[don’t forget your ID and tell them you are there for SON] and go and collect from ‘A’wing - Room No:514.

9. How do I send it to ECFMG?

MOH gives your SON in a sealed envelope which should be sent unopened to ECFMG. They also provide you with a copy and a letter stating that they gave your SON.
If you received it by post, you can open the main envelope inside which will be a smaller envelope with seal.
ECFMG address: EVSP/ECFMG, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA19104 USA.
You can send it through any courier service. DHL at some locations gives a student discount for this and charges around 1500rs. [Especially the one nearest to MOH]. Again, have a tracking number.

10. When does my J1 process start?

As soon as the ECFMG receives your SON they upload it into your documents on OASIS by title Ministry of Health letter within a week. If all the documents are perfect, you will receive a welcome letter within 1 week from then. It usually takes much lesser time than that. Once the welcome letter arrives you can fill in DS 160, pay the SEVIS fee and take an interview date.

   1. Apply for SON ASAP after you get your contract letter. The sooner you apply sooner is the whole process to get the visa.
   2. Read each and every line of application form multiple times and be careful while filling it out.
   3. Don’t forget to put your ECFMG ID in the application form.
   4. Call MOH or ECFMG when in doubt. They are pretty responsive. 
   5. Be patient. This process is time taking. Patience is much needed.

This whole information is through personal experience and from WhatsApp groups. Hope this compilation helps. Feel free to contribute or ask questions. 😊

Give as you live <3
Much love <3

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