Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-MN], along with Susan Collins [R-ME], Heidi Heitkamp, [D-ND], and Jerry Moran [R-KS] have introduced a bill entitled S. 616 – Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act.  This bill is intended to improve and make permanent the Conrad State 30 program (also known as the J-1 Visa Waiver Program), a national initiative that permits states to recommend visa waivers for physicians recruited to care for patients in medically underserved communities.

The State 30 program has brought thousands of physicians to rural, inner city, and other medically underserved communities since it began in 1994.  Under the State 30 program, foreign-born, American-trained doctors agree to practice medicine in underserved communities for at least three years in exchange for the waiver of certain visa restrictions.  Since its inception, the State 30 program has been extended numerous times and brought doctors to rural and underserved communities in all 50 states.

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  • As of December 13, 2012, the California Department of Health Care Services Department had received 16 J-1 Waiver applications and recommended 5 of them to the Department of State. California’s J-1 Visa Waiver Program gives priority to applications from primary care physicians who will work in federally designated undeserved areas.  Primary care physicians include:  internist, family practice, pediatrician, psychiatrist, and OB/GYN.  The California J-1 Visa Waiver Program does not accept applications from specialists.
  • The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting that they have received 2 Conrad 30 applications, meaning 28 slots remain for program year 2013.  All physician specialties are eligible for consideration. All employers must be pre-approved by the Primary Care Office (PCO) and assigned a J-1 wavier slot before a waiver application will be accepted for processing.
  • On November 29, 2012, The Washington State Department of Health reported that it had not received any J-1 Waivers for FY2013.  Washington State sponsors up to 30 Conrad waivers per federal fiscal year.   At least 20 of the total waivers are available to primary care physicians, and up to 10 of the total waivers are available to specialists.  On April 1st of each year, any waivers remaining unfilled will be available to either primary care or specialist physicians on a first-come, first-served basis.  Eligible employers in Washington must be located in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or whole-county Medically Underserved Area (MUA).
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Update:  As of January 11, 2013, the New Mexico Department of Health had received four waivers.  They will continue to solicit waivers until all 30 slots have been filled.

The New Mexico Department of Health has announced that as of December 14, 2012, their office had only received two Conrad 30 J-1 Waiver applications – meaning 28 slots remain.  Their office will continue to accept applications until they have filled all 30 waiver slots.  The New Mexico J-1 Waiver Program is a first come first serve program and does not reserve J-1 Waiver slots.  The emphasis in recruitment is upon primary care, with special attention to Family Practice and Family Practice with OB.

The 2013 New Mexico Department of Health J-1 Waiver Application Package can be found here.

Contact the Law Offices of Dayna Kelly, P.C. to get started on your application.

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The Michigan Conrad 30 J-1 Waiver Program has announced that it has closed the application window for the 2012 – 2013 season and there will not be a second application window this year. The Michigan Department of Community Health began accepting applications October 1, 2012.  The 2014 Michigan waiver window will open in September 2013.

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As of October 1, 2012, Washington State had not received any waiver applications.  They will sponsor up to 30 waivers per federal fiscal year (October 1st through September 30th)

  • At least 20 of the total waivers are available to primary care physicians.
  • Up to 10 of the total waivers are available to specialists.
  • On April 1st of each year, any waivers remaining unfilled will be available to either primary care or specialist physicians on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligible employers in Washington must be located in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or whole-county Medically Underserved Area (MUA). They may sponsor up to five of the total waivers to physicians who will practice at healthcare facilities located in non-designated areas that meet the criteria in WAC 246-562-075. Washington does not require a minimum HPSA score or a specific facility type. For more information see: Applicant Eligibility Criteria. The J-1 Visa Application form will be accepted beginning October 1st of each year.

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The Florida J-1 Waiver Program has received 51 waiver applications this year and has closed it’s program to further applications.  Decisions on the waivers will be announced by the Florida Department of Health within the next few weeks.

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The Georgia Department of Community Health’s Conrad 30 J-1 Waiver program has received 2 waiver petitions since October 1, 2012.  The Georgia J-1 Waiver program will continue to  accept J-1 waiver applications on a rolling basis until all 30 slots are filled.

The Georgia J-1 Visa Waiver Program allows for a number of specialist applications annually. The 30 slots are divided into the following categories: Primary Care – 20: open to physicians who completed a residency program in internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, or psychiatry, and Specialist – 10: open to physicians who completed a residency program or fellowship in any specialty.

More information about the program can be found on the  Georgia Department of Community Health’s website, or by contacting The Law Offices of Dayna Kelly.

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The Deadline for J-1 Waiver Conrad 30 applications for the Florida Department of Health is November 5, 2012.

The Florida J-1 Visa Waiver (State 30) Program allows foreign medical graduates to obtain a waiver of the two-year home residence requirement provided they agree to work for three years in a designated shortage area (HPSA or MUA)  Thirty (30) waivers are available annually (October 1-September 30.)  The deadline for submission of applications is the first Monday in November (11/5/12).  Download a copy of the Program Guidelines and Application here.

 

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Green Card Options for Physicians

Tuesday November 20, 2012 at 3pm EST

Registration here: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=E950DD86874F38

We are pleased to present a free informational webinar for International Medical Graduates: ‘Green Card Options for Physicians.’ Join immigration attorney Heather Sivaraman of the Law Offices of Dayna Kelly as we review the most popular routes to Green Card Status for Physicians: the National Interest Waiver and Labor Certification. We will also discuss Green Card backlogs that impact certain foreign nationals, how to find (and read) the Visa Bulletin, and other topics of importance to International Medical Graduates.

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On September 13, 2012, the House passed S. 3245, introduced by Sen. Leahy (D-VT), by a vote of 412 to 3. On August 2, 2012, the Senate passed it with unanimous consent.  The measure provides for an extension of:

  1. EB-5 Regional Center program
  2. E-Verify
  3. Special Immigrant Nonminister Religious Worker Program
  4. Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver program

The measure now goes to the President for signature.

UPDATE

On September 28, 2012, President Obama signed this bill into law.  There is more information on the White House website.

Full text of the S. 3245 bill can be found here.

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