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CONRAD 30 Waiver

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The CONRAD 30 Waiver

For doctors studying in the U.S. on J visas and seeking immigration status, there are established procedures to obtain waivers of the two year home residency requirement. These waivers, called Conrad 30 waivers, permit doctors who work in medically underserved areas, or within certain positions within the federal government, to get the two-year residency requirement waived.

While the procedures to obtain a Conrad 30 waiver differ from state to state, each state follows the same general guidelines. The first step in the process is to complete the DS 3035 online to obtain a case number. That form and the other required documents are then submitted to the State agency responsible for reviewing and approving the Conrad 30 waivers. Once approved, the approval and documents are sent to the Department of State for approval. Once the Department of State issues the approval, the paperwork is sent to USCIS for final approval. At that time, an H-1B petition can be filed with premium processing so that the J-1 waiver and H-1B can be adjudicated simultaneously. Upon approval of all the applications and petitions, the candidate can begin working in accordance with immigration laws. Generally, if no visas are available for the current year, the candidate will have to wait until October 1 to begin work. The entire process typically takes 10 to 16 weeks.

Following a period of time in the U.S. on an H-1B visa, doctors can apply for Lawful Permanent Residency (Green Card). This process requires the employer to engage in a recruiting campaign to first determine if they can fill the position with a U.S. citizen or employee. This is required prior to filing the PERM application, which is the first step in the Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card) process. Once the campaign has concluded, the employer files a PERM application seeking to have the Department of Labor certify that it is acceptable to hire a foreign national to fill the position. Once the PERM application is approved, the employer can file the I-140, employment-based visa on behalf of the employee. In some cases the I-140 can be filed simultaneously with the application to change status to a lawful permanent resident.

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