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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

CONRAD 30 J-1 PROGRAM EXTENSION TO GO TO PRESIDENT'S DESK

Rating: 10 votes, 5.00 average.

The House and Senate agreed to an extension of the physician immigration program until March 6, 2009. It began its sunset on June 1, 2008 so the need to extend was growing more urgent. Conrad 30 doctors are permitted to remain in the US after their graduate medical training programs end on condition of working in areas considered to be medically underserved. Each state can sponsor up to 30 doctors per year under the program and all 50 states and four US territories have established Conrad programs.



One substantive change in the program that is very helpful. Under current rules, each state has five "flex" slots they can use for facilities that are not in federally designated shortage areas if the state health officer certifies that that the doctor is serving a substantial patient population coming from designated shortage areas. This is often the case for physicians working in regional health facilities or at university hospitals serving large regional populations. Congress doubled the number of Flex slots to 10. The President is expected to sign the bill soon.

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Comments

  1. 's Avatar
    Was the increase in Flex slots really in the final version passed by the Senate? Don't see it.
  2. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Here is the text of what the Senate passed:

    HR 5571

    RFS
    110th CONGRESS
    2d Session
    H. R. 5571
    IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
    June 2, 2008
    Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
    AN ACT
    T
    EAS

    In the Senate of the United States,
    September 26 (legislative day, September 17), 2008.

    Resolved, That the bill from the House of Representatives (H.R. 5571) entitled 'An Act t
    o extend for 5 years the program relating to waiver of the foreign country residence requirement with respect to international medical graduates, and for other purposes.


    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SECTION 1. EXTENSION OF WAIVER PROGRAM.
    Section 220(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 (8 U.S.C. 1182note) is amended by striking `June 1, 2008' and inserting `
    ', do pass with the following

    AMENDMENT:
    On page 2, line 5, strike 'June 1, 2013

    '.
    SEC. 2. EXPANDING THE FLEXIBILITY OF THE CONRAD STATE 30 PROGRAM.

    Section 214(l)(1)(D)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(l)(1)(D)(ii)) is amended by striking `5' and inserting `10'.

    SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of the Congress that--
    (1) Federal programs waiving the 2-year foreign residence requirement under section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(e)) for physicians are generally designed to promote the delivery of critically needed medical services to people in the United States lacking adequate access to physician care; and
    (2) when determining the qualification of a location for designation as a health professional shortage area, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should consider the needs of vulnerable populations in low-income and impoverished communities, communities with high infant mortality rates, and communities exhibiting other signs of a lack of necessary physician services.

    Passed the House of Representatives May 21, 2008.
    Attest:
    LORRAINE C. MILLER,
    Clerk.
    By Robert F. Reeves,
    Deputy Clerk.

    ' and insert 'March 6, 2009'.

    Attest:
    Secretary.
    110th CONGRESS
    2d Session
    H.R. 5571
    AMENDMENT
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