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 Year Update as of March 4, 2019
All 30 slots for Program Year 2019 are filled. We will continue to accept overflow applications for submission on October 1, 2019 when Program Year 2020 starts. The physician will be able to start work upon issuance of the J-1 Waiver. Early applications tend to be processed more quickly than those submitted later in the year.
The administrative rule (OAR 409-035) has been amended effective 10/1/2018. Changes include:
- Counts percentage of patients instead of percentage of patient visits to establish the health care facility’s participation eligibility;
- Defers acceptance of most specialist and flex placement applications until after November 30, 2018 except in cases of critical need; and
- Changes “Health Professional Shortage Area” to “Health Care Shortage Area” to confirm that Medically Underserved areas and Populations (MUPs), in addition to Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), do not require a flex placement.
Please examine and use the updated application form 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