The Conrad Waiver is a special permission which is granted to J-1 visa holders who are medical doctors. The waiver allows J-1 medical doctors to waive the two-year residence requirement of their visa upon their completion of the exchange program. The Conrad Waiver differs from a normal J-1 visa waiver in that the applicant does not need to make a showing of exceptional hardship, persecution, or that their sponsoring agency requested a waiver.
Who is Eligible for a Conrad Waiver?
As mentioned above, the Conrad Waiveris only available to medical doctors. The following requirements, as taken from the USCIS website, must be met by a J-1 medical doctor in order to qualify for a waiver:
- Agree to be employed full-time in H-1B nonimmigrant status at a health care facility located in an area designated by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or Medically Underserved Population (MUP).
- Obtain a contract from the health care facility located in an area designated by HHS as a HPSA, MUA, or MUP
- Obtain a “no objection” letter from his or her home country if the home government funded his or her exchange program
- Agree to begin employment at the health care facility within 90 days of receipt of the waiver, not the date his or her J-1 visa expires.
How to Apply?
The J-1 visa holder’s state health department must sponsor them in order to apply for the waiver. After obtaining sponsorship, the J-1 holder should complete and submit Form DS-3035, J-1 Visa Waiver Renew Application to the U.S. Department of State. If the application is approved by the USCIS, the sponsor may petition the J-1 medical doctor via Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, along with other supporting documentation.
Consider setting up a consultation with an immigration lawyer at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.
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