H-1B premium processing reopened for certain physicians

Here in the U.S., there are certain areas where there are major challenges related to health care access. Under U.S. immigration law, there are some special immigration options available to certain foreign doctors willing to work in these areas. Take for example, the Conrad 30 Waiver program.

This program provides special immigration options to foreign doctors who came to the U.S. on a J-1 visa, the visa for participants in exchange programs. Typically, doctors who were participants in a J-1 exchange program have to return to their home country for at least two years following their program’s end to be able to work in the U.S. on things such as an H-1B visa. However, the Conrad 30 Waiver program provides a route for getting a special exemption to this two-year requirement for J-1 medical doctors who are willing to work on H-1B status in certain underserved or shortage-affected communities for at least three years.

When a foreign doctor is looking into the possibility of working in the U.S. through the Conrad 30 Waiver program, they may wish to speak to a skilled immigration lawyer. Among the things such attorneys could provide such doctors with guidance on is:

  • If they would likely have eligibility for the program.
  • What the rules and processes are for pursuing H-1B status under this program.
  • What special considerations are present in relation to seeking to use this program.

Such guidance could assist a doctor with having a picture of their options and what they can do to pursue them.

Among the things that can raise special considerations in relation to seeking to work in a medical job in the U.S. under the Conrad 30 Waiver program is that this program sometimes receives some special treatment when it comes to certain immigration issues. One issue for which this recently became this case is premium processing.

As we discussed previously on this blog, premium processing for H-1B petitions was suspended earlier this year. Recently, the federal government decided to narrowly reopen premium processing for a couple classes of such petitions. Among these are H-1B petitions for doctors made in connection to the Conrad 30 Waiver program. The set effective date for this reopening was June 26.

One wonders what impacts making the option of premium processing available again will have on doctors seeking to work in the U.S. under the Conrad 30 Waiver program.