The Primary Care Office (PCO) helps coordinate the placement of foreign physicians in underserved areas of the state through the Physician Visa Waiver Program.
Right now, many Oregonians do not have access to a primary care doctor in their community. This is mainly true for rural areas of the state, but also applies to some urban and suburban communities. The Physician Visa Waiver Program helps address this issue by allowing international medical graduates to remain in the United States if they work in a federally designated shortage area.
This program is also known as the "Conrad Program" or the "J-1 Visa Waiver Program."
The program allows Oregon to sponsor 30 waiver applications per federal fiscal year, October 1 - September 30. An application fee of $2,000 helps fund the program.
The new program year started on October 1, 2014 and will continue through September 30, 2015. We will accept applications on a first-come basis until all 30 slots are filled. There is no deadline. As of June 11th, we have mailed 23 applications to the US Department of State - 18 primary care and five specialists. We expect to submit an additional two or three during the next month.
Last year, Oregon obtained 29 Visa Vaivers - 22 primary care and seven specialists. All but two of these physicians are practicing in federally designated areas. The remaining two are "flex placements" hired in non-designated areas that serve a significant number of patients living in shortage areas.
Note that the application form (below left) has been simplified. Also, ETA 9035 is no longer required.
Please visit the Department of State and obtain your tracking number in advance. The employer and the J1 physician need to work together to complete the application. The Administrative Rules (OAR 409-035) explain the program requirements and steps necessary to complete the application process. Below are the forms you will need: