DHHS Physician J-1 Visa Waiver Program

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has a formal J-1 Visa Waiver program designed for foreign doctors (FMGs/IMGs) who plan to work in a medically underserved area. This permits a waiver of the 2-year foreign residency requirement upon a commitment to work in an underserved area for 3 years.

The following are required from the physician DHHS J-1 Waiver applicant:
  • Department of State Data Sheet (2 copies)/Form DS 3035
  • Copies of J-1's IAP-66 and/or DS 2019 forms for each year in J-1 status
  • Signed and dated Physician Statement pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1001
  • Current CV, including social security number
  • Three letters of recommendation from those who know the J-1 physician's qualifications (these references must be current U.S. residents)
  • Credentials (diplomas, licenses / license application)
The following are required from the employing physician group or practice:
  • Completed HHS Application (Form HHS 426)
  • Cover letter
  • A rural health clinic must submit a copy of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Letter of Certification
  • Letter of need from medical facility, on the facility's letterhead paper.
  • Statement that the facility treats all patients regardless of their ability to pay, accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and S-CHIP assignment, and uses a sliding fee scale
  • Three letters of community support for the hire of this physician
  • State health department support/acknowledgment letter
  • Department of State attestation [see 22 CRF Chap.1, Sec.41.63(c)(4)(ii)]
  • Copy of executed contract. The contract must: be three years in duration, and obligate the physician to work 40 hours per week providing out-patient primary care (family practice, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, or obstetrics/gynecology) or general psychiatric services, located in designated health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) with a score of 7 or higher
  • Prevailing wage form
  • Evidence of employer's regional and national recruitment efforts

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