On March 20, 2009, President Obama singed a law that extends the date by which international medical graduates have be granted J-1 nonimmigrant status in order to later qualify for the "Conrad 30" program. International Medical Graduates who are granted J-1 status by September 30, 2009, either by admission to the U.S. or a change of status, will later qualify for the Conrad 30 Waiver Program. The most recent sunset date for qualifying J-1 admission was March 6, 2009. Physicians who acquired J-1 status before September 30, 2009, may pursue a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement under the Conrad State 30 program, if they meet all the eligibility requirements.
The "Conrad 30" Program, permits each state health department to submit a request to the Department of State (DOS) to grant a waiver to the J-1 international medical graduate to complete a two-year home residency requirement. If the state health department's waiver request is approved, the J-1 physician is required to practice medicine in a medically underserved or shortage area for a three-year period. The Department of Health and Human Services designates the medical shortage areas.