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J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Improving access to primary health care, and needed specialty care, in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) or Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) is an important goal of the Illinois Department of Public Health.  The purpose of the Department’s J-1 Visa Waiver Program is to increase access by sponsoring J-1 Physicians who agree to serve at medical facilities in HPSAs or MUAs.  Illinois’ participation in the waiver program enables the Department to act on behalf of the State and request waivers for eligible J-1 Physicians.  The Department may act as an interested state agency to request up to thirty (30) J-1 visa waivers per federal fiscal year.

If you have questions about the IDPH J-1 Visa Waiver Program, please email dph.j1waiver@illinois.gov.

Emergency Rulemaking

Amended Sections for Visa Waiver Program for International Medical Graduates (77 Ill. Adm. Code 591), contained in emergency rules that were effective September 19, 2022, are applicable to the October 2022 application cycle and subsequent implementation in addition to the Part 591 Sections that were not amended. The emergency amendments allow the Department to consider forensic pathologists and medical examiners’ offices for the J-1 Visa Waiver Program. The Department will accept J-1 Visa (medical education) Waiver applications beginning October 1, 2022, with the intent to include forensic pathologists of Illinois medical examiners’ offices.

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