Visa Waiver Programs
Conrad 30 Waiver Program
The 2019-2020 application cycle is closed. All applications are under review. Applicants should expect to receive notification of their status by late November to early December.
The Conrad 30 Waiver program allows J-1 visa holders who are medical doctors to apply for a waiver of the 2-year residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. See section 214(l) of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA). The program addresses the shortage of qualified doctors in medically underserved areas.
The goal of the Conrad 30/J-1 Visa Waiver Program is to improve access to qualified physicians within federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
Each state is allowed to sponsor up to 30 physicians each year. It is anticipated that the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) will receive more Conrad 30/J-1 Visa Waiver applications for sponsorship than the maximum allowed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Florida Department of Health's participation is voluntary. The submission of a complete waiver application package does not ensure that the Florida Department of Health will sponsor that physician for a waiver.
To find out if a practice site address is in a HPSA please go to:
Applicants must obtain the sponsorship of a state health department when applying to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In Florida, that sponsorship is administered through the Department of Health Primary Care Office (PCO).
To review minimal requirements for a Conrad 30 waiver please go to:
HHS Exchange Visitor Program
This program allows physicians to obtain a waiver of the J-1 Visa two-year home residence requirement. Physicians must practice primary care clinical medicine full time in a designated health professional shortage area (HPSA score of 11 or greater) for a three year period.
National Interest Waivers (NIW)
National Interest Waivers are available for physicians of exceptional ability that show it is of national interest he or she remain in the United States. Physicians must practice clinical medicine full time in a designated shortage area for a five year period.
All physicians (Conrad 30, NIW, HHS) wishing to transfer to a new employer or practice facility must receive written approval from the Department prior to the transfer.