It is J-1 Visa Waivers “season” for filing Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa visa waivers for foreign physicians. In order to be eligible for a J-1 Visa visa Waivers via the Conrad 30 program, you must be a foreign medical graduate who studied in the United States on J-1 Visa status.
Each of the 50 states is eligible to grant up to 30 waivers. Since the federal fiscal year starts October 1, many states usually begin their review of applicants on that day. However, each state has their own unique policy and states such as Texas have already received more than 30 applications. We also expect Florida to fill their 30 slots. Other states, such as California and Oregon, review applications until all spots are filled.
Each state has its own application materials and requirements. The base requirements for almost all states are:
- you must have a three-year employment for a full-time job (at least 40 hours per week);
- you must work as either a primary care physician or specialist in an area that has a shortage of health professionals;
- you must obtain a letter of support from the state’s Director of Health for the Conrad State 30 program.
The Conrad State 30 program, which began in 1994, is a great success. In September of 2012, the United States House of Representatives voted to extend the program for three years, by a vote of 412 to 3. This does not mean that you should wait to apply for a Waivers. Physicians who apply may be eligible to work at a facility that is not in a medically undeserved area, but at a facility that serves individuals who reside in a medically undeserved area, depending on the state’s requirements.