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J-1 Visa Waiver Program Overview


In an effort to improve access to health care for residents of underserved areas, Virginia offers two options for J-1 Visa Waiver programs.

Both the Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) J-1 Visa Waiver program and the Virginia Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver program permit interested government agencies to request that the United States Department of State recommend that the Immigration and Naturalization Service waive the foreign residency requirement in exchange for an agreement that International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who completes medical training in the United States will practice primary care for at least three years in a federally designated health professional shortage area (HPSA) or a medically underserved area (MUA). 

Physicians’ practicing in the areas of Family Practice, General Internists, Pediatricians, OB/GYN and general psychiatrists should apply for the ARC J-1 Visa Waiver program if the practice locality is located within the Appalachian Region Commission (ARC).

The Virginia Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver program is allotted only 30 slots per year (each of which have been filled the last two years), while the ARC J-1 Visa Waiver Program has an unlimited number of allotments. In an effort to provide need to the most communities, first, please determine whether your county or city is listed in the eligible Appalachian Region. In the state of Virginia, there are (25) twenty-five counties and (8) eight independent cities that are eligible for the ARC J-1 Visa Waiver program.

Appalachian Region Commission (ARC)
J-1 Visa Waiver Program*

*Unlimited Slots Available *


*Application Period
October 1 2013 - September 30, 2014

Virginia Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Filled


*0 Total Slots Available *


Designated Slots: 23 FLEX Slots: 7

Updated 1/7/2014

*Application Period
October 1, 2013 - September 30, 2014

ARC J-1 Visa Waiver Program Information

ARC 25 Counties and 8 Independent Cities
Eligible for the ARC J-1 Visa Waiver Program

appalachian map

We encourage physicians seeking employment in an ARC region to apply for the ARC J-1 Visa Wavier.

Contact ARC J-1 Visa Waiver

Denise Ambrose, Associate Director
Project Management Office
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Main Street Center
600 East Main Street, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23219

Virginia’s Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program Information

Application Review
Refer to the Virginia Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Guidelines for detailed information on processing criteria.  Based on the number of applications received, and high volume work periods, the J-1 Waiver application review process can take from eight to ten weeks.

Please adhere to Virginia's guidelines before submitting an application.  

  • A Virginia Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver application request must come from a qualifying practice entity with a signed contract.
  • Applications and forms must be printed, completed and delivered by surface mail or courier to the address below.

J-1 Waiver Physician Recruitment
VDH does not recruit directly for this program. J-1 Waiver Physicians are encouraged to utilize The Free Virginia Recruitment Web Resource, Rural Recruitment & Retention Network (3RNET) ( for employment opportunities in Virginia, or contact employers directly.

Contact Virginia Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver

Karen Lyons, Program Administrator Specialist
Virginia Department of Health
Office of Minority Health and Health Equity
Attn: Virginia Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver
109 Governor Street, Suite 1016 East
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Due to the volume of candidate responses, our office prioritizes the J-1 Visa Waiver submissions received by the following criteria: Virginia trained residency, practice site locations:  Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Medically Underserved Area (MUA), Virginia Medically Underserved Area (VMUA) and Medically Underserved Population (MUP) designation rank.


If you have any questions related to the program, please contact Karen Lyons, J-1 Waiver Program Coordinator, by calling (804) 864-7435 or by emailing  To send by fax please use (804) 864-7440.

Last Updated: 02-05-2014

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