New York Two Year Home Residency Requirement Attorneys

A J Visa holder may also apply to a state department of health through the state's Conrad 30 program. This program allows for each state to recommend up to 30 J Visa physicians every year to the USCIS for a waiver of the two year home residency requirement. In exchange, the foreign doctor must agree to work for three years in a medically underserved area, as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program is open to J Visa physicians who have completed a residency in one of the following areas of medicine: family practice, general practice, general internal medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics, or gynecology.

This requirement is limited to three situations. It may apply if the program in which the visitor was participating was funded, directly or indirectly, by the United States government or the government of the visitor's home country or country of last permanent residence. This requirement applies to several different types of government funding including grants, compensation, stipends and scholarships. It only applies to government money intended specifically to bring a visitor to the United States.

The two year home residency requirement may also apply if the visitor came to the United States to receive graduate medical education or training.

The Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) must sponsor all exchange visitors falling within this category.

Finally, the exchange visitor may also be required to return to his or her home country or country of last residence if the U.S. Department of State has designated the visitor's specialized skills or knowledge as in short supply and necessary for development in the visitor's home country.

The U.S. Department of State breaks down these specialized skills into 60 different skills groups and then, by consulting with the listed foreign countries, determines which specialized skills are needed for each country.

The U.S. Department of State lists these countries and occupational skills in the Exchange Visitor Skills List.

To find out if a J Visa holder is subject to a two year home residency requirement, ask the following questions:

  • 1. Was the program funded by the U.S. government, or by the government of the visa holder's home country or country of last permanent residence, and was the funding for the specific purpose of bringing the exchange visitor to the U.S.?
  • If yes, then the J Visa holder is subject to the two year home residency requirement. However, even if the funding was from the U.S. government, if the money was not used specifically to bring an exchange visitor to the U.S., then the visa holder may not be subject to the requirement.
  • 2. Did the visitor come to the U.S. for graduate medical training sponsored by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Training?
  • If yes, then the J Visa holder is subject to the two year home residency requirement. However, the program must be a residency or fellowship that involves direct patient care. Programs that involve research, observation or consultation, but no patient care or only incidental patient care, are not subject to this requirement.
  • 3. Is the exchange visitor's specialized skill designated by the U.S. Department of State as being in short supply for his or her home country by being on the skills list for that country?
  • If yes, then the J Visa holder is subject to the two year home residency requirement.