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J-1 Visa Waivers

Federal law requires that foreign physicians seeking to pursue graduate medical education or training in the United States obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa. The J-1 visa allows physicians to remain in the U.S. until their studies are completed. However, upon completion of their studies, the physicians must return to their home country for at least two years before they are able to return to the United States.

Changes in the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act (Public Law 103-416), allows each State Department of Public Health or its equivalent to sponsor up to thirty (30) foreign trained physicians each fiscal year. The State 30 program, as it is commonly referred to, affords J-1 visa holders the privilege of waiving their two-year foreign residency requirement in exchange for providing primary medical care in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).

The Department's policy is completely discretionary, voluntary and may be modified or terminated at any time. The submission of a complete waiver package to the Department does not ensure that the Department will recommend a waiver. In all instances, the Department reserves the right to recommend or decline any request for a waiver.

In order to facilitate review of the waiver requests by the New Jersey Department of Health, the request for waiver should come from a health care facility on behalf of a J-1 physician, and not directly from a J-1 physician or physician's representative.

All of the required information and documentation must be submitted in a single package with documents presented in the order set forth. All documents must contain the case number assigned by the U.S. Department of State. Waiver requests that do not comply with these requirements will be returned to the submitting health care facility for revision.

For more information contact Linda D. Anderson at (609) 292-1495 or by
e-mail at


Department of Health

P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
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Last Modified: Wednesday, 11-Jul-12 16:40:04