J-1 Visa Waiver Program Guidelines   

  • Effective October 1 - June 30 each Federal Fiscal Year, the California J-1 Visa Waiver program targets primary care physicians who have completed a U.S. residency training program in one of the following practice areas: Family Medicine, General Pediatrics, and General Obstetrics/Gynecology, General Internal Medicine or General Psychiatry. 


  • The primary care physician must practice primary care medicine full-time at a health facility that is located in a geographic area or areas that are designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Medically Underserved Area (MUA), Medically Underserved Population (MUP) or psychiatric care in a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (MHPSA)


  • Effective July 1-September 30, applications will be accepted from primary care physicians and specialists.  All applications will be held for a 30 day period and prioritized in the following order: primary care physicians working in a rural clinic located in a HPSA, MUA, MUP, MHPSA followed by an urban clinic located in a HPSA, MUA, MUP, or MHPSA; cardiologist, gerontologist, or pediatric subspecialist working in a HPSA, MUA, MUP; lastly, other specialist working in a HPSA, MUA, or MUP.  Sponsoring employers must document the need for a proposed specialty using population based data relevant to the proposed specialty (morbidity, mortality, population/physician ratio etc.)


  • The applicant physician must provide services to a caseload that is comprised of at least 30% Medicaid (Medi-Cal) patients or a caseload that includes a combination of at least 30% Medi-Cal and uninsured patients throughout the three year contract period.  The sponsoring employer and physician must sign an attestation to this effect.  Should slots remain available on  September 15, this patient threshold requirement may be dropped for the remainder of the cycle. 
  • The sponsoring employer must provide a certified copy of the contract detailing the full-time employment of the applicant physician at said health facility. The contract must contain a provision that requires the applicant physician to work at the health facility in which he/she is employed for a total of not less than three years. The applicant physician must agree to begin employment within 90 days of receiving a J-1 Visa Waiver. Additionally, the applicant physician’s position must be full time (40 hours per week)


  • Recruitment/retention efforts must be described by the sponsoring employer. It must be clearly demonstrated that a suitable American replacement for the applicant physician cannot be found through recruitment or any other means 


  • The applicant physician must meet all medical licensure requirements for the state of California



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Last modified date: 9/27/2016 3:46 PM