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Physician Visa Waiver Program

Foreign Physicians Helping Underserved Areas

The Primary Care Office (PCO) helps coordinate the placement of foreign physicians in underserved areas of the state through the Physician Visa Waiver Program. This program is also known as the "Conrad Program" or the "J-1 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. An M.D. or D.O. who has completed or is scheduled to complete a residency or fellowship in a U.S. medical school through the Exchange Visitor (J-1 Visa) Program is eligible to apply.

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.

Program Update as of July 6, 2022

All 30 slots for the current Program Year are filled. Oregon will start submitting applications for Program Year 2023 as of October 1, 2022. Each slot will be reserved at the time the physician and employer sign a contract or Letter of Intent, subject to the following rule guidelines:

OAR 409-035 gives preference to primary care, plus specialists in documented high need areas, for the first two months of each program year (Tier 1). Starting December 1st conforming applications will be submitted for the rest of the slots (Tier 2) on a first-come basis. Although there is no way to predict what this year’s demand will be, at least five or six Tier 2 vacancies have remained at the end of each November since the policy went into effect.

For information, or to reserve a slot, please contact Dia Shuhart at dia.shuhart@dhsoha.state.or.us.

Please examine and use the updated program forms below

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:

Please read the attached J-1 Visa Waiver Program Summary for important information

Our mailing address is:
Physician Visa Waiver Program
OHA-Health Policy & Analytics
500 Summer Street NE, E-65
Salem, OR 97301