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Judith
Judith, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28303
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I'm a Canadian physician who is considered an IMG

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Hello
I'm a Canadian physician who is considered an IMG (international medical graduate); i completed my internal medicine residency training in Connecticut and now doing a geriatric medicine fellowship in Houston, Texas. I am now in the midst of talks with an employer in Kerrville, Texas - this is an area an hour west of San Antonio, Texas; the patients in the area are 80-85% medicare and the larger area of 100,000 that the medical facility serves potentially qualifies as underserved, per the employer (although i dont have bonafied figures and data on this).I did my medicine training and current fellowship on the J-1 physician exchange program; I believe in order to continue staying and working here in the US (potentially in that region of Kerrville, TX) I have to obtain the J-1 visa waiver. My employer is a regional medical corporation that is not a FQHC or government agency; I dont believe the position i'm applying for, falls under the Conrad 30 type of listing.Basically I want to know given my situation, can my employer still hire me and get me a J-1 visa waiver even though they are not a "conrad 30" program? What is the process roughly and what visa will I be working on next year if i do obtain this position (my fellowship ends in June 2017 and I would hope to start working 1st week of september 2017). I know several of the terminologies i'm using may be wrong - but I hope i'm getting my point across. I am also concerned that apparently in Texas the conrad 30 visa applications are applied for and taken within days of Oct 1st; does this apply to me? Or is my employer going to be able to get me a J-1 waiver position outside of the conrad-30 program, and when I start Sept 2017 what visa would I be on and where does that fall in the big picture process of immigration?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
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Expert:  Judith replied 3 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

There are limited options for the J1 IMG waiver:

1. Government Agency such as VA; ARC; DHHS,

2. FQHC ;

3. Conrad 30.

Since your employer does not fall under any of the qualifying government programs, is not in a designated HPSA/MUA to qualify for Conrad 30 (verify this at https://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/tools/analyzers/hpsafind.aspx ) and is not a FQHC they cannot file for a waiver for you.

You are using the right language. This link will help you with that http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/international-medical-graduates/practicing-medicine/immigration-information-imgs.page

One of the best J1 waiver lawyers is giving a seminar in San Francisco this month

https://www.facebook.com/jan.pederson.526

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157532815545788&set=a.10150583256995788.671380.803965787&type=3&theater

You are correct that applying for a Conrad 30 waiver in TX is almost like applying for the lottery. The application period opens October 1st (today) and by the end of next week they will have more than 30 qualifying applications so the rest of the applications are returned.

So you do not fall into the big picture other than having to return to Canada and do 2 years there since you are only allowed a maximum of 7 years under ECFMG J1 program. Between your internship and residency you are close to that I would assume.

Frankly, you are a bit late in the game planning. Most J1 docs have already lined up their options and have a Conrad 30 application prepared and in the mail today.

There may be some options open for you in other areas that do not fill as fast but are far less desirable locations such as the Dakotas, Alabama, West VA and other rural southern HPSA areas.

There may also be the option for you with the VA since you are in geriatric medicine and baby boomers are filling VA facilities now.

Jan, the attorney who is giving the seminar is tied into a huge network of J1 waiver qualified entities both through ARC; VA and other private entities. She has been doing J1 waivers for 35+ years and is a mover and shaker in having the regulations amended to be more favorable for J1 docs, including H1B stumbling blocks when they were subject to the lottery. She was part of a group of immigration lawyers who got these regs changed.

So If you can make it to her Seminar and have a free consultation with you you can consider yourself very lucky because it is hard to get a consultation with her even for $500.

At this point it looks to me like you are running out of gas with regards ***** ***** and you need to work fast to find a position. To do this you need a lawyer who is tied into the J1 doc waiver circle. I have retired but back in the day, entities would come to me looking for doctor referrals and would take my docs before a unsolicited resume in the stack.

I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.
Judith Ludwic

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hello Judith
Thanks for your reply. I have found this further information that i need your input on.Part of your reply states one can recieve the J-1 waiver for goverment agencies (VA, ARC, HHS);
So i went on Texas Conrad 30 page (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/chpr/j1info.shtm) and toward the top part of the page it states "Another option for primary care physicians in Texas is the Department of Health and Human Services J-1 Waiver Program."
If you visit that link, part of that sentence has a hyperlink to the DHHS website (http://www.hhs.gov/about/agencies/oga/about-oga/what-we-do/index.html/exchange-visitor-program.html-0); in going thru that webpage, it states "Health care services needed in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) in the United States.
Physicians with J-1 visas must agree to deliver health care services for three years in a mental health or primary care HPSA."I went to look for the county under which Kerrville falls (Kerr county) and although that area does not have a HPSA designation, part of the population it serves falls under Bandera county and Real county. On the same page under "Waiver Application instructions" it also states that "All applications must be submitted by private or non-federal institutions, organizations, or agencies, or by components of HHS." such as my potential employer?So basically, does this not seem like a route my employer can take? Can my employer not contact HHS and state that part of the population they serve falls under HPSA designation and therefore since I am being hired to provide primary care to this population, take this HHS J-1 waiver route?Also, if we can take this route, is there a time restriction that applies ? My research on a different website (http://www.maggio-kattar.com/blog/how-states-use-their-30-waivers-j-1-physicians) shows .. "As noted in our previous article , federal agencies (ARC, DRA, HHS and the VA) can grant an unlimited number of J-1 physician waivers throughout the year."Whats your experience and professional answer to all this?
Expert:  Judith replied 3 months ago.

I have never done such a DHHS but your employer may just qualify.

The Maggio-Katter blog would have been written by Jan.

To qualify your employer would have to show documentary evidence of it's patient population having their addresses in the Bandera and Real county which are HPSA designated.

The burden would be on your employer to show that the patient population you provide care to lives in the designated areas.

I have had such cases for Conrad 30's where the facility was not in a HPSA but we were able to do patient population data print-outs of the addresses of the patients to prove that although the facility itself was not within the HPSA, the patients it served traveled from HPSA designated areas.

You would definitely need to use an attorney to pursue this option through HHS if the date supports where your patient population comes from.

Judith

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