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.
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 16, 2020
Oregon can begin submitting applications for Program Year 2021 on October 1, 2020. We are looking forward to filling all of our 30 slots for the sixth year in a row. Each slot will be officially "reserved" at the time the physician and employer sign a contract, subject to the following rules and 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 on a first-come basis. Although there is no way to predict what the demand will be, five or six Tier 2 vacancies remained at that time for each of the past two years; and
- Effective October 21, 2019, Oregon Administrative Rule 409-035 was revised to count total patient visits to establish the health care facility's participation eligibility, as well as for physician reporting requirements. Please use the updated Application and Employment Status Report forms (below).
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:
Our mailing address is:
Physician Visa Waiver Program
OHA-Health Policy & Analytics
500 Summer Street NE, E-65
Salem, OR 97301