What is the process to obtain a J-1 waiver through the Conrad State 30 program?
First, the J-1 physician must assess whether he or she is subject to a two-year home residency requirement. In most cases, the answer to this question is yes. Please see my post, entitled "Do I need a J-1 waiver?"
Second, the physician must determine his or her J-1 waiver options. For purposes of this question, let's say the physician has chosen to obtain a waiver through the Conrad State 30 program. During this same step, the physician will likely be finalizing his or her employment arrangements, which will dictate in which state the physician will practice.
Third, the physician must contact the state program to determine slot availability for a J-1 waiver. Each state can only recommend 30 J-1 waivers per fiscal year, and the state program will have additional requirements and restrictions, especially if the physician is a specialist.
Fourth, the physician must complete the DS-3035 form with the Department of State (DOS) and request a DOS case number.
Fifth, the physician must submit the J-1 waiver application to the chosen state.
Sixth, should the state recommend the J-1 waiver application, the state will forward the application to the DOS.
Seventh, the DOS will consider the J-1 waiver application. If it recommends the waiver, the DOS will forward the case to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Eighth, upon DOS recommendation and the USCIS receipt notice, the physician's employer should now file the H-1B petition with USCIS. USCIS is the agency, which ultimately approves the J-1 waiver, and it will also make the decision on the H-1B petition.