J-1 Visa Waiver Information for the State of Minnesota
Notice: As of January 14, 2014, Minnesota has received more J-1 Visa Waiver applications than it can accommodate for the current program year. The 2015 program will begin October 1, 2014.
The J-1 Visa Program is for foreign medical graduates who wish to pursue graduate medical training in the United States. J-1 Physicians, also known as Foreign Medical Graduates or International Medical Graduates, are physicians from other countries who have sought and received a J-1 exchange visitor visa. The visa allows holders to remain in the United States until their studies are completed. At the completion of their studies they are expected to return to their home countries for two years before applying for a permanent visa in the United States.
A J-1 Visa Waiver waives the two-year home residency requirement and allows a physician to stay in the country to practice in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA) if sponsored by an interested U.S. government agency. State government agencies may also recommend J-1 physician waiver requests, which are called Conrad State 30 programs.
Minnesota is committed to helping all Minnesotans access quality, affordable health care. Due to the difficulties some areas experience recruiting and retaining physicians, many communities turn to foreign medical graduates with J-1 Visa Waivers to fill their physician vacancies. The Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Rural Health and Primary Care developed this guide to the J-1Visa Waiver Review and Recommendation Process.