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Minnesota J–1 Visa Waiver Program

Opportunity for Canada and International Physicians to
Practice Medicine in Underserved Areas of Minnesota

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)

LOI Date:

10/15/20

Deadline Date:

11/30/20

Description:

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Opportunity for Canada and International physicians to practice medicine in underserved areas of Minnesota. Applicants are advised to begin the visa application process as soon as possible. The program is designed to allow physicians to be sponsored by healthcare centers and bypass the two-year home residency requirement of the J-1 visa. This will allow a physician to stay in the country to practice in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA) if sponsored by an interested U.S. government agency

The J–1 Visa Program, sometimes referred to as the Conrad 30 program, is for international medical graduates who wish to pursue graduate medical training in the United States. J–1 Physicians, also known as Foreign Medical Graduates or International Medical Graduates, are physicians from other countries who have sought and received a J–1 exchange visitor visa. The visa allows holders to remain in the United States until their studies are completed. At the completion of their studies they are expected to return to their home countries for two years before applying for employment authorization in the United States.

A J–1 Visa Waiver waives the two-year home residency requirement and allows a physician to stay in the country to practice in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA) if sponsored by an interested U.S. government agency. State government agencies may also recommend J–1 physician waiver requests, which are called Conrad State 30 programs.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 192553

Number of Grants:

Up to 30 waivers

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Minnesota Department of Health will consider recommending a waiver of the foreign residence requirement on behalf of physicians holding J–1 visas who have been admitted to the U.S. under a J–1 visa, under the following conditions:
- A waiver request to the Department of Health must come from a U.S. health care facility, registered to do business in Minnesota, on behalf of a J-1 physician and not directly from a J–1 physician or physician's representative.
- The physician must be a primary care or specialty physician applying for a waiver to work in a Health Professional Shortage Area or Medically Underserved Area designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
- The physician must demonstrate a bona fide offer of employment at a health facility and must agree to work 40 hours per week of direct patient care for at least three years for a Medicare and Medicaid certified medical facility which also accepts medically indigent patients.

For purposes of these waiver guidelines, an “organization” is an entity listed as the “employer” in the employment contract, which is included in a J–1 visa waiver application filed on behalf of an international physician; or an entity that contracts with a multi-specialty physician practice to provide physician staffing. All applications submitted must be filed by the employer organization, not by departments within the organization. Each submitted application must be for the employment of only one international physician. Each application must be submitted separately.

A “facility” is the place where the physician will practice. It may be different from the employer’s principal business location and it may be one of the employer’s practice sites.

Program Guidelines:
- The application must demonstrate a bona fide offer and acceptance of full–time employment at a health facility (a copy of the complete contract) and must agree to begin employment at such facility within 90 days of receiving a waiver.
- The offer must contain a provision, and the physician must agree, to work at the health care facility in which he/she is employed for a total of not less than 3 years and not less than 40 hours per week of direct patient care.
- The physician must practice primary or specialty care medicine full–time in the geographic area or areas which are designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a shortage designations.
- The physician, prior to employment, must meet all medical licensure requirements for the state of Minnesota.
- The program applies to physicians who have been admitted to the United States in, or have acquired, a J–1 visa status before September 17, 2018.

Pre-Application Information:

The J–1 Visa Waiver Program is now open for application:
- Open: September 15
- Deadline for an initial review: October 15
- Close: November 30

Submissions received by the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care will be date–stamp and an email will be sent notifying the applicant’s representative that the application has been received.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommends that before submitting any paperwork, applicants should contact Paia Vang to determine that the employer/facility and the applicant/physician both meet the minimum requirements to qualify for a waiver. The determination that the employer and the applicant meet the minimum requirements does not guarantee that the full application will be approved by MDH.

Applications received by October 15 will be guaranteed an initial review for minimum legal requirements. If the application is incomplete, the Department will notify the applicant’s representative via email and in writing via paper mail. The applicant will have until the last business day in November to address the issues identified and submit requested information or materials. If the applicant does not respond to the notification within the given deadline or if the supplemental materials or information fails to address the issues identified by the Department, the application will be deemed incomplete and not considered for approval.

Applications received after October 15 will not be guaranteed an initial review for minimum legal requirements.

MDH will announce soon after the last day in November whether or not 30 complete applications have been received. If 30 complete applications have not been received by the deadline, MDH will post an announcement on this website, and applications will be received on a first-come, first-served basis, until 30 complete applications have been received. Previously submitted, but incomplete applications may be resubmitted once complete.

The wait time for an interview and processing for an Exchange Visitor Visa varies from country to country and is based on your individual circumstances. The State Department encourages you to apply as soon as possible. Please note that exchange visitors beginning new programs may not enter the United States more than 30 days before their program start date.

A list of required documents may be found at J–1 Review and Recommendation Process: https://www.health.state.mn.us/facilities/ruralhealth/j1/guide.html

Receiving a J–1 visa waiver application case number: https://www.health.state.mn.us/facilities/ruralhealth/j1/case.html

Visa FAQs: https://j1visa.state.gov/participants/common-questions/

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit your request including all of the required information to:
Paia Vang
Minnesota Department of Health
Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
85 East 7th Place, Suite 220
St. Paul, MN 55101

For questions, please contact:
Paia Vang
paia.vang@state.mn.us
651–201–3856

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

Israel

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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