J-1 Physicians Qualify for Conrad Waiver if J-1 Entry / COS Prior to Oct 1, 2009

The USCIS issued a reminder of the deadline for J-1 international medical graduates (IMGs) to enter the United States if they wish to apply for waivers of the two-year home return requirement under the Conrad 30 program, following completion of their training. This deadline for entry in J-1 status has been extended until September 30, 2009. The same deadline applies to those seeking a change of status (COS) to J-1 from within the United States. The individual must be in J-1 status in the U.S. on or before September 30, 2009, in order to be eligible to later participate in the Conrad 30 waiver program.

Conrad 30 Waiver Program for Physician to Work in an MUA

Many IMGs make use of the Conrad 30 program. This program allows a J-1 physician to provide medical services in a medically underserved area (MUA) for three years, after completion of the J-1 medical residency training, in exchange, s/he is excused from the requirement to return to the home country for two years. Begun in 1994, the program has been modified and extended periodically. The current sunset date of September 30, 2009 could be extended again, but there never are guarantees in these matters. This extension was mentioned in our March 27, 2009 article, Conrad 30 Investor Pilot Program and Religious Worker Extensions.

J-1 Physicians Provide Valuable Services to U.S. Population

In order to obtain a waiver under the Conrad 30 program following J-1 medical training, it is necessary to meet a series of requirements, in addition to the entry date on J-1 status. This program was covered in our March 16, 2007 article, Congress Extends Conrad State Program until June 1, 2008. The Conrad 30 program provides much needed medical services to areas of the United States and to populations that otherwise would not have access to sufficient medical care. It is our hope that it continues to be available as an option for IMGs, and as an incentive to physicians to practice in locations that might otherwise be overlooked, helping the residents living and working in areas of the United States that are considered to be underserved.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.