Conrad 30 J-1 Waiver Program
J-1 foreign trained medical doctors may apply for Conrad 30 Waiver program to waive the 2-year residency requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. While each state has developed its own application rules and guidelines, the following general requirements apply to all J-1 medical doctors:
- Agree to be employed full-time in H-1B nonimmigrant status at a health care facility located in an area designated by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or Medically Underserved Population (MUP).
- Obtain a contract from the health care facility located in an area designated by HHS as a HPSA, MUA, or MUP.
- Obtain a “no objection” letter from his or her home country if the home government funded his or her exchange program.
- Agree to begin employment at the health care facility within 90 days of receipt of the waiver, not the date his or her J-1 visa expires
To apply for a waiver, a J-1 medical doctor must obtain the sponsorship of a state health department, and complete the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Form DS-3035, J-1 Visa Waiver Review Application. If the state public health department agrees to sponsor the J-1 medical doctor for a waiver, then the waiver application I sent to the DOS Waiver Review Division (DOS-WRD) for a recommendation. If granted a waiver, the foreign medical doctor must submit a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, along with the DOS-WRD favorable recommendation letter, in order to request a change of the J-1 medical doctor’s nonimmigrant status to H-1B. The spouse and/or child of the waiver recipient must submit Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, in order to change status from J-2 to H-4