J-1/National Interest Waivers

A waiver of the 2-year foreign residency requirement generally requires a commitment to work full-time in a Medically Underserved Area for at least three years. A request for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residency must be made through an interested government agency (IGA).

The following governmental agencies presently have established J-1 visa waiver programs: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Delta Regional Authority, the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. In addition, each state is permitted to grant up to thirty waivers annually to physicians who work or serve patients in its Underserved Areas under the Conrad-30 program. Some states also have J-1 Waiver programs for sub-specialists. Each state has an Agency or Contact that administers the program. Please note that each agency has different guidelines and application periods.

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