The Conrad Program waives the two-year home-country physical presence requirement upon completing the J-1 exchange visitor program before a foreign physician can return to the United States.
California is allowed 30 J-1 Visa Waiver recommendations during the federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). In California, applications are reviewed from October 1 until all spots are filled. Currently 17 waivers have been recommended by the Department of Health Care Services (DCHS).
Requirements for a Conrad 30 waiver:
– Physicians with Fellowship training may apply if they are willing to practice only primary care. Primary care practice areas include Family Medicine, General Paediatrics, General Obstetrics/Gynaecology, General Internal Medicine or General Psychiatry with no subsequent speciality training.
– Applicant must locate employment prior to contacting the J-1 Visa Waiver Program.
– Applicant must agree to practice primary care medicine full-time in H-1B non immigrant status at a health care facility located in the geographic area or areas designated by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) (or mental health HPSA in the case of a psychiatrist), Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or Medically Underserved Population (MUP).
– The facility must accept Medicaid/Medicare and medically indigent patients.
– The sponsoring health facility must provide a certified copy of the contract detailing the full-time employment of the applicant physician at said health facility. This contract must contain a provision requiring the applicant physician to work at the facility in which he or she is employed for a period of not less than three years.
– The applicant physician must agree to being employment within 90 days of receiving a J-1 Visa Waiver, not the date his or her J-1 visa expires.
– The applicant physician’s position must be full time (40 hours per week).
– Recruitment/retention efforts must be described by the sponsoring health facility. It must be clearly demonstrated that a suitable American replacement for the applicant physician cannot be found through recruitment or any other means. The health facility’s plan must be detailed on how they plan to retain the applicant physician beyond the three year commitment.
– If the physician is contractually obligated to return to his or her home country i.e. if the home government sponsored the applicant’s exchange programme, a letter of “No Objection” from the home country must be included with the application.
– Applications must include all DS 2019s for the physician and any family members.
The J-1 Visa Waiver applicant must submit all completed documents and forms in the proper sequence to ensure that the application is processed. (http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/rural/Pages/WaiverPackageChecklist.aspx)
Contact our J1 Waiver law firm at 916-613-3553 if you have more questions or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.