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May 30, 2017

J-1 Visa Waiver & National Interest Waiver Programs

The 2017 Idaho Legislature passed House Bill 81 that expands the Idaho Conrad J-1 Visa Waiver Program to allow specialist physicians and limited non-shortage area flex waiver applications to be considered. Updated application documents are available under ‘Program Documents’. Interested applicants are encouraged to review House Bill 81 in its entirety, as well as sections 39-6103, 39-6104, 39-6113 of Idaho Statute Title 39, Chapter 61. A complete, online update to Idaho Statute Title 39, Chapter 61 is planned for July 1, 2017. 

Please contact the Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care at ruralhealth@dhw.idaho.gov or by phone at (208) 334-0669

The Idaho Conrad J-1 Visa Waiver Program allows medically underserved communities to recruit and hire a foreign trained primary care physician or psychiatrist as an option of last resort. The applicant employer and the J-1 physician must agree and adhere to terms and conditions set forth by state and federal requirements. Applications must be submitted to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare through the Primary Care Office with a $1,000.00 processing fee. The application packet and instructions are available by contacting the Primary Care Office.

The National Interest Waiver Program provides a mechanism for a foreign physician pursuing a change in immigration status to stay in the United States in exchange for a commitment to practice medicine to an underserved population for a three to five year period. It waives the requirement for the employer to go through the labor certification process. Idaho communities may apply for the placement of a foreign physician after demonstrating their inability to recruit an American physician, and all other recruitment/placement possibilities have proven to be unsuccessful. Applications must be submitted to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare through the Primary Care Office with a $350.00 processing fee. The application materials are available by contacting the Primary Care Office.