J - 1 Visa Waiver Program FAQs and Links

What is a J-1 Visa Waiver?

A J-1, or educational exchange visa, has the purpose of allowing foreign professionals to expand their education and training in the U.S.  The Visa is active as long as the physician is in training with a maximum of 7 years, after which they must return to their home country. Physicians who want to remain in the U.S. after their training must apply for a visa waiver.  One program is the Conrad 30 Program.


What is the Conrad 30 Program?

Every U. S. state manages a Conrad 30 Program. Each state may recommend up to 30 physicians to receive a waiver of the 2-year home residence requirement in exchange for a 3 year work commitment in an underserved area.


What are the waiver requirements?

  • The physician must enter into a 3-year contract to work in an underserved area or qualifying practice site. Non-designated requests are also considered.
  • The contract must state the physician will work 40 hours per work week at the qualifying site(s).
  • The physician must agree to begin employment within 90-days of receiving a waiver.
  • Physician must have a license or pending license to practice medicine in Michigan.

The Michigan Conrad 30 program designates priority to applications from primary care physicians (Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology) and Psychiatrists working in an outpatient setting in a shortage area or with a Safety Net Provider. 


When is the application period for the Michigan Conrad 30?

  • The season begins on June 1st when applications are available for request.
  • If all 30 slots are not filled during the initial application window, a second application window may be made available.
  • Determinations are announced by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services after the first of January.


Resource Links

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Health Resources and Services Administration 

Census Tract Number Search - by Address

US Department of Labor - Online Wage Library

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs 

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

HHS J-1 Waiver Program Information

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS - Formerly INS)

U.S. Department of State

American Immigration Lawyers Association 

United States Exchange Visitor Program - Clinical Care