October 7, 2008
Congress Passes Extensions of Religious Worker and Conrad 30
On September 26, 2008 the Senate passed a bill (S. 3606) to extend
the special immigrant non-minister religious worker program through
March 6, 2009. This provision enables individuals to enter the U.S. to
work in a professional (non-ministerial) capacity in a religious
vocation or occupation such as liturgical workers, religious instructors
In addition, on September 27, 2008, the House of Representatives
passed a bill (H.R. 5571) to extend the Conrad 30 program through June
1, 2013. Generally, foreign national physicians who enter the U.S. in
J-1 Exchange Visitor status to receive graduate medical education or
training are required to return to their home country or country of last
residence for two years upon completion of their training in the United
States. Such physicians are not eligible to apply for adjustment of
status to lawful permanent resident, for an immigrant visa, or an H or L
visa or to change status in the U.S. unless they satisfy the two year
foreign residency requirement or obtain a waiver. The Conrad 30 program
empowers each State to recommend waivers of the two-year foreign
residence requirement for foreign national physicians who entered the
U.S. to obtain medical training and agree to work in medically
underserved areas to waive the two year foreign residency requirement.
At this time, both bills are heading to the President for signature.
Once the bills become available, we will post them on our website.