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Case Study - Hospital Hiring a J-1 Physician

Business Problem

A Midwest county hospital has not been able to hire an OBGYN in the past ten years.   They are the only hospital serving several neighboring counties.  The hospital has identified an OBGYN who is a foreign national in training in the U.S., who is finishing her residency at an urban hospital. The OBGYN is in J-1 physician status until the residency program is completed.

Business Goals

The hospital is interested in filling their OBGYN physician openings to be able to provide patient care.

Strategy and Solution

Our attorneys worked with the hospital to figure out the position and its requirements then determine whether the physician is qualified. We reviewed the J-1 waiver process for the state to identify timing and eligibility. J-1 Physicians usually come to the U.S. with a two-year return home requirement. This means they need to return to their home country for 2 years before being able to get into a different status in the U.S. unless they are eligible for a waiver of that return home requirement. Physicians may find eligibility for waiver with the “Conrad 30” program. For eligibility, the physician must be willing to sign a contract for a 3 year commitment to working in the medically underserved area. 


The Mdivani lawyers worked with the Hospital’s HR Department to pursue the Conrad 30 waiver. This program allows each of our state health departments to recommend 30 J-1 waivers for physicians who are coming to practice in a medically underserved area in their state. The state’s Health Department recommended the J waiver and advised the Department of State.  Department of State reviewed the case the physician’s J=1 waiver request and state health department’s recommendation.  DOS approved the waiver and referred to USCIS for I-612 waiver approval notice to be issued to the physician.  We woled with the hospital to file a non-cap H-1B petition to change the physician’s status to H-1B to work for he medically underserved area hospital for at least 3 years.

Planning Ahead, Short Term + Long Term

The hospital should begin planning longer term retention for the physician as soon as possible. This is through planning for H-1B extension as well as starting the employment-based green card process.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only, it is not legal advice applicable to a specific situation.  Viewing it does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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