International Medical Graduates (IMG) who are subject to the J-1 home residency requirement, and their employers, will find that the demand for J-1 waivers has consistently exceeded supply. While federal agencies can grant an unlimited number of Interested Government Agency (IGA) waivers year-round, they have restrictions on geographical territory and practice areas. Coupled with the high demand for H-1B specialty occupation visas for cap-subject employers, physicians and their employers are left looking for alternatives to practice in the U.S.
A frequent question we receive (and a frequent issue that arises when travel occurs without notifying us and/or your program sponsor) is: “Can a J-1 Exchange Student (and J-2 dependents,…
The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa typically includes a requirement that the IMG return to their home country upon conclusion of their U.S. medical training. There are, however circumstances where a waiver of this requirement may be obtained, including through their work in a so-called qualified position or “J-1 Waiver job”. IMGs working in the U.S. on J-1 visas vs. other non-immigrant visas, has increased from roughly 50% to 80% over the past several years, thus, the competition for J-1 waiver jobs has intensified. IMGs on J-1 visas who wish to pursue careers in the U.S. after their residency or fellowship ends must either find employment which qualifies them for a waiver of the 2 year home residency requirement or qualify for a waiver due to hardship or persecution.
Historically, many states have exhausted their J-1 waiver allotment under the Conrad State 30 Waiver Program (extended until September 30, 2015) befor