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Navigating the J-1 Visa Waiver Process: A Brief Information Sheet for Foreign Medical Graduates

The Chicago Immigration J Waiver Lawyers  remind employers that the fiscal year for the Conrad-30 J waiver application starts on October 1, and that it is never too late to begin the waiver process.

A J-1 Visa Waiver, is a waiver of the two-year home country physical presence requirement for foreign medical graduates (FMGs) who enter the United States on a J-1 visa. This requirement states that FMGs must return to their home country for two years before they can apply for a green card or other non-immigrant visa. The J-1 Visa Waiver allows FMGs to apply for a waiver of this requirement if they are able to secure a job in an area of the United States that has been designated as having a shortage of healthcare professionals, and if they agree to work in that area for three years, at least 40 hours of week, and provide medical clinical services.

The main ways of obtaining a J-1 waiver are:

-Conrad 30 Waiver program, which allows states’ departments of health to sponsor up to 30 foreign medical graduates (FMGs) per fiscal year for waivers of the two-year home residency requirement.

-DHHS Waiver Program, which acts as an interested government agency for primary care physicians who agree to work in medically underserved areas.  This program provides sponsorship only for physicians who will practice in primary care and who has graduated from a primary care residency recently (less than one year ago)

-Other interested government agencies (IGA) programs (Delta Regional Authority, Appalachian Regional Commission , which allow FMGs who agree to work within the area covered by the federal  government agency for a specified period of time to obtain waivers of the two-year home residency requirement.

-The Veterans Affairs (VA) program, which grants waivers to FMGs who agree to work for the VA for a specified period of time.

It is important to note that obtaining a J-1 Visa Waiver is a complex process and that the requirements, eligibility criteria and the procedures may vary by state and program. It’s recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer experienced in J-1 waivers to ensure that you understand the specific requirements and procedures for your situation.

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