J-1 Visa Waiver Program Information
Each year, up to 30 J-1 visa waivers are granted to foreign born physicians who agree to work in an underserved area of Vermont for at least three years. Like other states, Vermont prioritizes placement of primary care physicians in federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) or Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs).
Of the 30 J-1 visa waivers available, 10 "flexible slots" may be granted each year to physicians in primary care or medical specialties who work outside designated shortage areas if the employer can document professional need and service to patients living in designated shortage or underserved areas.
The Vermont Office of Rural Health and Primary Care will consider applications for physicians and employers in or outside of designated areas according to the following priorities:
- 1st priority: primary care sub-specialties, including Family Practice, General Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, and Hospitalists
- 2nd priority: medical specialists in Surgery (General or Orthopedic), Anesthesiology, Neurology, Pathology, Specialty Internal Medicine, and Psychiatry
- 3rd priority: medical specialists in Ophthalmology, Radiology, Emergency Medicine and Urology. Other specialties will be considered for waivers if the employer can document need and service to patients living in designated shortage or underserved areas
The Vermont Office of Rural Health and Primary Care accepts J-1 waiver applications throughout the year. We do not charge a fee to apply.
We recommend that applicants find a lawyer who is experienced in J-1 Visas or other immigration law to guide you through this process. The hiring institutions will often recommend or provide a lawyer.
For more information on how to apply for a J-1 Visa, please see the Vermont J-1 Visa Application Checklist.
The following is required before we will submit your Visa Waiver application to the U.S. Department of State:
- Vermont medical license (or proof of a complete application)
- Signed employment contract with an employing facility
To begin the process of medical licensing in Vermont, contact the Vermont Board of Medical Practice.
To learn about current openings in Vermont hospitals, clinics and practices, register with the Vermont Recruitment Center.
You can find listings of health care careers in rural & underserved areas from the Rural Recruitment & Retention Network or other online provider placement services.
To save some time, you may begin your national credentialing process and your application for a Vermont medical license before you have a job offer.