Working in the United States
Conrad 30 Waiver Program
The Conrad 30 Waiver program allows J-1 medical doctors to apply for a waiver for the 2-year residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. See section 214(l) of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA). The program addresses the shortage of qualified doctors in medically underserved areas. For more information, see the background on J-1 medical status section below.
Although each state has developed its own application rules and guidelines, the following program requirements apply to all J-1 medical doctors.
The J-1 medical doctor must:
See your state’s public health department website for specific details.
To apply for a waiver, a J-1 medical doctor must:
The state public health department that agreed to sponsor the J-1 medical doctor for a waiver must then send the waiver application to the DOS Waiver Review Division (DOS-WRD) for a recommendation.
For more information regarding DOS filing procedures and documentation requirements, please see the Department of State website.
After DOS Makes a Recommendation
DOS-WRD will notify USCIS electronically of its recommendation. DOS will notify the J-1 medical doctor, attorney of record (if applicable), and the state agency that requested the waiver by mail.
USCIS will make a final determination on whether to approve the waiver application. Upon a favorable recommendation by DOS-WRD, USCIS will generally grant the waiver as long as there are no underlying concerns. USCIS will provide written notice of its decision to the J-1 medical doctor and his or her representative (if applicable).
Responsibilities After Being Granted a Waiver
If USCIS grants the waiver:
Once the Conrad 30 waiver recipient has fulfilled all of the terms and conditions imposed on the waiver, including the 3-year period of employment with the health care facility, he or she (and his or her spouse and/or child) will become eligible to apply for:
If waiver recipient fails to fulfill the terms and conditions imposed on the waiver, he or she (and his or her spouse and/or child) will once again become subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement under section 212(e) of the INA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Does a J-1 medical doctor need to file Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement, in order to apply for a Conrad 30 Waiver?
Q.2 The law requires the recipient of a Conrad 30 waiver to work full-time for three continuous years. What is the definition of “full-time” work?
Q3. If a J-1 medical doctor is granted a Conrad 30 waiver and H-1B status, may he or she change employers if the original health care facility closes?
The new H-1B petition will not be approved unless USCIS determines that the waiver recipient has established the existence of extenuating circumstances that excuse early termination of employment as stated in the terms and conditions in the original H-1B petition.
Q4. Can the recipient of a Conrad waiver who is in H-1B status begin employment at a new health care facility after the extenuating circumstances H-1B petition is filed and while it is pending?
Q6. Can the spouse and/or child of a waiver recipient who has not yet fulfilled the terms and conditions of the Conrad 30 waiver independently apply for waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement?
Q7. How does a Conrad 30 waiver recipient (or some other concerned individual) report wage and labor related abuse?
A J-1 exchange visitor who came to the United States or acquired such status in order to receive graduate medical education or training (a J-1 medical doctor) is generally ineligible to apply for:
To be eligible to do so, a J-1 exchange visitor must have resided and been physically present in his or her country of nationality or last residence for at least 2 years (the 2-year foreign residence requirement) upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. Any spouse or child admitted as an accompanying J-2 status holder is also subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement. See section 212(e) of the INA.
A J-1 medical doctor (and his or her J-2 spouse and/or child) is ineligible to change from J nonimmigrant status to any other nonimmigrant status (except in certain cases to A, G, T, or U). See section 248(a)(2) of the INA
Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/05/2014
Other USCIS Links