In 1994, Senator Kent Conrad wanted to address the problem that many areas of the country have in trying to gain access to qualified health care professionals to serve the public. Thus, he created the Conrad J1 visa waiver program to do just that. And although the details of this annual program differ by state, the J-1 Visa Waiver Program is still an excellent way for healthcare facilities throughout the country to recruit and retain highly-qualified foreign physicians in certain disadvantaged areas. Here is more information about the program.
All 50 states offer the Conrad 30 program as a way to serve areas of the country that have a problem recruiting healthcare professionals to serve the public. These areas are often rural and the populations close to or at the poverty line. Specifically, the program seeks to allow doctors who have had residency training in family medicine, general obstetrics, general pediatrics, general internal medicine, and general psychiatry serve the public. Moreover, each state’s Department of Health can sponsor up to 30 international medical graduates (IMGs) a year.
J1 Visa Application Process
There are several steps that must be followed in order to obtain J1 Visa Waiver application status. These steps are as follows:
- Choose an Exchange Visitor Program –There are several kinds of exchange programs including camp counselor, intern, physician, specialist, teacher, professor and research scholar and many others.
- Determine Eligibility – Anyone applying for the J1 Visa Waiver program must be proficient in English and purchase J1 insurance. Applicants must also undergo an interview.
- Find a Sponsor- Once the above steps are completed, applicants must find a state department approved sponsor who is authorized to supervise the application process
- Complete Form DS-2019 – After receiving and application from a program sponsor, the applicant is provided with a DS-2019 form. This form contains information such as sponsor identification, category of exchange, duration of stay including the start and end dates of program, etc.
- Pay Application Fees – A J1 applicant must pay several fees associated with the process including a program fee, a SEVIS fee and a visa fee.
An applicant for the J1 Visa Waiver must also submit the following documents as part of the application progress:
- DS-2019 Form, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status.
- Form DS-7002
- Form DS-160
- Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the end date of the applicant’s intended stay in the US.
- A current photograph
Finally, if you have any questions about the J1 Visa Waiver program contact me, attorney Erika Roman. The office of Erika Roman immigration lawyer handles all related issues and offers a free consultation to all who believe they may need my services.