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Quick Question - Is a J-1 Waiver Physician Exempt from the H-1B Cap When Changing Employers?

Posted by Ann Badmus | Feb 05, 2016 | 0 Comments

Quick Question:  I am a physician who is currently working pursuant to a J -1 waiver.  I know I am required to work for three years to fulfill my waiver.  But I plan to change to a different employer after that.  Is it true that once I complete my J-1 waiver contract, I can work for any other employer who will hire and sponsor me in H-1B status AND that I will not be subject to the H-1B cap when my new employer applies for my H-1B?
Answer:  Yes,   you are not subject to the H-1B numerical limitations (“H-1B cap”) for new employment.  As a former J-1 physician who received a J-1 waiver from a state health agency or interested government agency, you were exempt from the H-1B cap as “the beneficiary is a J-1 nonimmigrant physician who has received a waiver based on section 214(i) of the Act.”

And, the exemption applies for your initial employment and all subsequent employment after the J-1 waiver service is completed. Of course, you must prove that you have completed or will complete your J-1 waiver requirement.  To do so, your new H-1B employer must include with its petition copies of the I-612 approval notice, Department of State recommendation letter, your tax returns and W-2 forms for the previous three years, employment confirmation letter from your waiver employer, and your pay records for the current year.

This information is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice for your specific situation.  If you would like additional information or have questions about complex immigration rules affecting you, you are invited to call 214-472-2161 or email [email protected] 

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Ann Badmus

Principal and Managing Attorney


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