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J-1 Physician Waivers in Pennsylvania: Change in Processing Times

Posted in J-1 Waiver

This morning, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) announced that it has changed the Pennsylvania rules regarding the J-1 Physician Waiver Program.  DOH has established three filing periods, which could result in the Conrad 30 numbers being assigned earlier in the fiscal year. 

With this in mind, if you are a Pennsylvania health care provider in need of an additional physician, and believe there is a chance that you may end up offering employment to a foreign national physician who is in need of a J-1 Waiver, it is best to conduct your recruitment with the DOH’s new J-1 waiver processing dates in mind.  Below is a summary of information from DOH:

Effective immediately, the following schedule will be followed for J-1 waiver application processing:

     Initial Application Period: September 30 – December 15

  • All complete applications submitted during this period will be reviewed.
  • Successful applicants will be notified of waiver support on or before January 10.
  • This will include applications for specialty physicians and Flex 10 slots.

     Second Application Period: January 1 – June 15

  • All complete applications submitted during this period will be reviewed.
  • Successful applicants will be notified of waiver support on or before July 10. 
  • This will include applications for specialty physicians and Flex 10 slots.

     Final Application Period: July 1 – September 15

  • All complete applications submitted during this period will be reviewed.
  • Successful applicants will be notified of waiver support on or before September 30.
  • This will include applications for specialty physicians and Flex 10 slots.

Foreign physicians who complete their graduate medical education (GME, residency or fellowship) in J-1 Exchange Vistior classification are subject to a two-year home-presence requirement unless they obtain a waiver.  Included among the J-1 waiver options are waivers processed initially by state health departments which require that the foreign physician practice in a designated shortage area on a full-time basis for no fewer than 3 years, among other things.

The J-1 Waiver Program has attracted highly qualified physicians to areas in great need of medical services.  The Conrad 30 J-1 Waiver Program was recently renewed (see prior blog post).