What is the difference between the J-1 Conrad 30 waiver cap and the H-1B visa cap? The difference is actually quite significant. As a physician, you entered the U.S. and participated in a residency program on either a J-1 or H-1B visa. If you’re on a J-1 visa, the most popular type of waiver you’ll likely apply for is the Conrad 30.
In this situation, you have to be mindful of the 30 spots that are available for acceptance. Each state has their own cap, so you have to be aware of all the minor requirements your state may have, while being aware of whether or not applications are still being accepted. Remember — always apply early!
The good news is, if your application for the J-1 waiver is accepted, you can apply for an H-1B visa and you don’t have to worry about the H1-B cap. Now, if you decide to apply for the H1-B visa (and you do not obtain a J1 Conrad 30 Waiver), things will be different. If you’re a physician who entered the U.S. and participated in a residency program on an H-1B visa, after your residency, you may work for an employer who is either cap subject or not cap subject.
If your employer is cap subject, you will have to worry about the cap (and again, apply early!), and that means you will have to apply before April 1 for an October 1 start date of employment.
If your employer is not cap subject, then you don’t have to worry. There are situations where a medical facility may not be subject to the cap if they are affiliated with a university — and there is an affiliation agreement demonstrated that this is the case along with additional requirements.
The subject of caps is an issue that can be surprisingly complicated. If you have any question about waiver or visa caps, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, and we’ll help you find the answers you’re looking for.