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Conrad Waiver Requirements

The Conrad waiver is associated with foreign physicians who come to work in the United States on a J-1 visa. Typically, a doctor who is on a J-1 visa must fulfill a two year home residency requirement, which means the doctor may not change his or her status to a different nonimmigrant status. Unless a waiver is obtained, the doctor may also not apply for permanent residence without completing this two year home residency requirement. The purpose of the J-1 Conrad waiver is to allow doctors to request that this requirement can be waived for them on a few different grounds. If you wish to file a J-1 visa Conrad waiver, contact us for a consultation.

J-1 30 Conrad Waiver

The Conrad 30 waiver can be obtained by foreign medical graduate (FMG) physicians and is a State Department of Health waiver. This means that each participating state has its own requirements to determine whether or not the physician’s specialty qualifies for the Conrad J-1 waiver program. Despite the different requirements among the states, there is a set of certain criteria that every state has in common.

For example, the foreign physician has to work 40 hour work weeks for three years in a primary care setting. Second, the physician’s employer has to offer the doctor a salary that is similar to other doctors with the same level of experience and training, depending on the geographical area of the clinic. Third, the foreign physician has to prove that he or she worked in a Medically Underserved Area or in a Health Professional Shortage Area designated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Fourth, the facility that wants to hire the foreign physician has to submit a letter stating this intention and should be accompanied by other supporting evidence. This can include relevant statistics, like the poverty rate. It could also describe the demographics of the population living in the underserved area. Information like elevated poverty levels, mortality, and teen pregnancy may help establish that the area’s residents are limited in their access to regular preventative medical care. Further, it is helpful if the support letter explains the particular medical problems that the local population faces. This information will help bolster the need for an additional physician in the area. Fifth, the State health department’s designated official must also submit a letter providing that the public interest will be served by allowing the foreign physician to remain in the United States.

Some of the state requirements of the Conrad 30 waiver are similar. First, the hospital may be required to show its recruitment efforts and demonstrate that it was not able to hire a permanent resident or United States citizen doctor to fill the position. Second, the hospital may have to show that the foreign physician will be working for a facility that accepts Medicaid and Medicare eligible patients. Third, the foreign physician must meet the state licensure requirements for the state where he or she will be practicing. Finally, the applications will need to be accompanied by the physician’s I-94.

Additional Areas of Consideration

The Conrad waiver applicant should be aware of a few other areas of concern. For example, the foreign physician’s J-1 program may have been funded by his or her foreign government. If this is the case, the doctor will need to acquire a no-objection letter as part of the Conrad 30 waiver. Another technicality that the foreign physician should be aware of is that if he or she does not fulfill the 3 year commitment under the terms as described in the Conrad 30 waiver, the doctor will be forced to fulfill the two-year home residency requirement.

The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates is experienced in representing a wide range of healthcare professionals. We represent healthcare providers and companies as well as professionals in applying for visas (and waivers), and green cards for healthcare professionals. Our experienced immigration lawyers can assist you in Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland Ohio, Southfield, Michigan, as well as Washington, DC.

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