The Chicago immigration attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer follow closely regulatory changes in the J waiver process and learned that recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has revised its guidelines for J Waivers for physicians subject to the 2-years foreign residency requirement. HHS will now process applications for waivers from any facility in or with a health professional shortage area (HPSA) score of 7 or higher for foreign physicians to practice in a primary care specialty (family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics & gynecology) or general psychiatry.
HHS acts as an Interested Government Agency (IGA) on behalf of foreign physicians subject to the 2-years foreign residency requirement who agree to work for 3 years in certain areas. Previously, the HHS only processed applications for facilities which were either:
- A health center as defined under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, and which is receiving a grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration under this section;
- A rural health clinic as defined under Sections 1102 and 1871 of the Social Security Act; or
- A Native American/Alaskan Native tribal medical facility as defined by the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (P.L. 93-638)
According to the updated rules, the HHS will process applications from any facility that meets the HPSA score threshold for primary care physicians. This is a positive step that will alleviate the severe shortage of primary care physicians.
If you need help in preparing a J waiver, contact the J waiver attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer.