Visa Options for J-1 Physicians
Our Services For J1 Physicians
We specialize in immigration matters for Foreign Medical Doctors / J-1 Physicians, also known as Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) or International Medical Graduates (IMGs). We provide comprehensive immigration services to FMGs / IMGs (J-1 Physicians) and rural as well as urban health care service providers (Employers) located throughout the United States.We work closely with the State Health Departments under Conrad State 30 Programs and Federal Interested Government Agencies (IGAs) in obtaining J-1 Visa Waivers and H-1B Visas. We also assist our FMGs and their families in obtaining green card and citizenship.
J-1 Physicians, also known as foreign medical graduates (FMGs) and International Medical Graduates (IMGs) generally come to the United States on a J-1 Visa for their training in medical residency and/or fellowship. Upon completion of their medical training, they are required to return to their home country for at least two-years before they can return to the United States. However, they can obtain employment visa without fulfilling their two-year home residency requirement by seeking waiver of the residency requirement through employment in a federally designated health professional shortage area (HPSA) or medically underserved area (MUA /MUP), or seek waiver based on exceptional hardship or fear of persecution. FMGs cannot seek waiver based on “No Objection Statement” from home country.
J-1 Visa Waiver and H-1B Visa
FMGs may seek waiver of the two-year home return residency requirement through employment in H-1B status by agreeing to provide medical care for at least 3 years to patients in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA/MUP) or at a Veterans Affairs (VA) facility through the available programs under Conrad State 30, or Federal Interested Government Agencies such as Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Delta Regional Authority (DRA), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Veterans Affairs (VA). These waiver programs have their own policy and procedural guidelines. In general, the FMG must commence employment within 90 days of the approval of the waiver by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and upon obtaining H-1B status.
Conrad State 30 Program:
Under this program, each of the 49 states and the District of Columbia and Guam participating in Conrad State 30 Program offered through the Department of Health of these states, offer a maximum of 30 waivers each fiscal year where the FMG agrees to work full time as a primary care physician or a specialist in a clinical program for at least three years in H-1B status for a medical facility located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or a Medically Underserved Area (MUA/MUP). Each state has its own policy and procedural guidelines regarding the waiver program.
Federal Interested Government Agencies (IGAs)
In addition to the Conrad State 30 Program offered through the Health Department of the participating states, FMGs can also obtain J-1 Waiver through Federal Interested Government Agencies (IGAs) which are community based waiver programs. The most commonly participating IGAs are Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Delta Regional Authority (DRA), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Veterans Affairs (VA).
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
ARC recommends waivers for counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and the entire state of West Virginia. These waivers are only available to primary care physicians where the physician must work in a facility located in a federally designated shortage area for primary care or psychiatric care.
Delta Regional Authority (DRA)
DRA recommends waivers for counties in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Unlike ARC, DRA is not only provides waiver to primary care physicians, but also to specialists with additional requirements under a new program.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Community-Based Waiver Program
In addition to granting waivers to biomedical researchers and research physicians, HHS is now accepting IGA waiver applications based upon clinical care practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). There is no numerical limitation and it serves high-priority HPSAs based HPSA scores. There are strict guidelines for eligibility.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
VA hospitals provide waivers to FMGs interested in academic medicine since many of the VA hospitals are affiliated with medical schools. VA waiver request is submitted to individual VA facility, which then submits it to the Waiver Review Office within the VA Central Office in Washington, D.C., which makes a determination as to whether the VA will act as an IGA on behalf of an FMG.
In some situations where appropriate, we also explore the possibility of O-1 status for J-1 Physicians. For additional information contact our office for consultation.
Representing J-1 Physicians in a waiver case is a complex process involving multiple government agencies. We provide comprehensive immigration service to ensure that our clients obtain optimal service for timely waiver and H-1B visa for employment. We work with a large number of Health Care Service Providers in urban as well as rural areas throughout the United States. We have extensive experience in working with State Health Departments under Conrad State 30 Program as well as Federal Interested Government Agencies (IGAs) participating in the waiver programs.
Green Card Options for Physicians
After our J-1 Physician clients obtain their J-1 waiver and H-1B visa, we continue to work with our physicians toward obtaining permanent residency status (Green Card) after completion of their waiver service.
Physicians may obtain Green Card based on employment sponsorship either through Labor Certification as an Advanced Professional or through a National Interest Waiver Petition. For information on Green Card based on Labor Certification and other options, please check our Employment-based Green Card link.
J-1 and H-1B Physician Job Opportunities
We work with health care service providers and medical facilities located in rural and urban areas throughout the United States who periodically contact us seeking J-1 and H-1B Physicians.
Email us your resume/CV at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to forward it to prospective employers. We do not charge any fee for this service.
Please contact our office for consultation.