Practice Alert: Sunset of Conrad 30 Program

The Conrad 30 Program, which permits States to support up to 30 foreign physicians for a waiver of the J-1 two-year home residence requirement, has brought thousands of foreign physicians to medically underserved areas in the U.S. The Conrad 30 Program has been in existence since 1994 and has been reauthorized by Congress several times. The current reauthorization expires September 30, 2015.

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have proposed legislation not only to reauthorize the Conrad 30 program, but also to improve it. The bill, "Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act," S.1189, would, among other things, remove the sunset provisions, clarify requirements of the Physician National Interest Waiver classification, and make important technical fixes to the program including confirming the ability of J-2 spouses to change status to classifications other than H-4.

If the Program is not reauthorized by September 30, 2015 and does sunset, it does not mean that the Conrad Program will immediately shut down. States will still be able to support waiver applications for J-1 physicians who were admitted in, or acquired, J-1 status before the sunset date. Failure to reauthorize the program affects the ability of J-1 physicians admitted in or acquiring J-1 status after the sunset.

S.1189 Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act needs the support of the healthcare institutions that depend on it to bring physicians to their communities. Contact your clients to ensure that they are aware of the sunset provisions as well as the proposed bill and urge them to contact their Senators to impress upon them how important this program and legislation is to their communities (https://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup).

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 15072018.