J-1 Visa Waiver Information for the State of Minnesota
Update on the 2015 Minnesota J-1 visa waiver program
As of February 23, 2015, the Minnesota Department of Health received 28 applications for the 30 available J-1 visa waiver slots for this year. MDH will continue to accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis until the remaining slots are filled. MDH will determine when all 30 slots are filled and will announce when applications will no longer be accepted.
Notice: The Minnesota Department of Health has revised the Minnesota J-1 visa waiver program guidelines effective August 8, 2014.
The J-1 Visa Program, sometimes referred to as the Conrad 30 program, is for international 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 employment authorization 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 obtain access to quality, affordable health care. Due to the difficulties some areas experience recruiting and retaining physicians, many communities turn to international medical graduates and 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.