When Are Beneficiaries of a J-1 Waiver Exempt from the H-1B Cap

The Helpful Filing Tips provided by the Vermont Service Center (VSC) address how to complete Part C, Item 4 of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement.  That section asks:

“Is the beneficiary of this petition a J-1 nonimmigrant alien who received a waiver of the two-year foreign residency requirement described in section 214(l)(1)(B) or (C) of the Act?”

VSC’s Filing Tips indicate that this box should be checked only if the beneficiary is a physician who received a Conrad waiver. This is partially accurate. While it is correct that the exemption does not extend to those who received a J-1 waiver based on a no objection letter, hardship, persecution, or many Interested Government Agency (IGA) waivers, INA §214(l)(1)(B) or (C) is not limited to J-1 waivers based on a recommendation from a State 30 program.

INA §214(l)(1)(B) or (C) describes J-1 waivers granted to physicians who, after completing graduate medical education (GME) in the U.S., make a three year, full time commitment to serve in a qualifying medical shortage area.

In addition to the Conrad 30 program, these waivers may have been recommended by the Veterans Administration, the Delta Regional Authority, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Physicians who have made a three year commitment and receive a J-1 waiver based on the recommendation of any one of these agencies are required to hold H-1B status for three years to fulfill the waiver obligation. H-1B petitions on their behalf are exempt from the cap, and Part C, Item 4 of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement including with the petition should indicate “yes” to this question.

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