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J1 Waiver > HHS/ARC



The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently announced a major change and improvement in the sponsorship of J-1 physicians for waivers. On December 19, 2002, new regulations were issued which provide for the sponsorship of J-1 waivers for physicians who have been offered primary care positions in medically under served regions throughout the United States. Prior to this expansion of sponsorship, HHS limited its sponsorship to physicians engaged in internationally significant medical research.

Due to recent tightening of HHS rules for Fiscal 2004 waivers, the HHS waiver will likely not be an option for most clinical physicians.


Under certain circumstances, the Appalachian Regional Commission will request a waiver of immigration requirements for foreign-trained physicians doing residency work in the United States under a J-1 visa. Physicians receiving these waivers must practice for at least three years in rural Appalachian areas that suffer critical health manpower shortages. These areas, called Health Professional Shortage Areas, are identified by the U.S. Public Health Service.

Frequently Asked Questions about the HHS And ARC Waivers

  1. I heard that HHS issued more stringent requirements for J1 waivers for the 2004 Fiscal Year. What are those restrictions?

  2. How do I proceed an HHS waiver?

  3. How do I gain more information about the ARC waiver?

  4. How can your firm help me with the HHS and ARC waiver processes?


1. I heard that HHS issued more stringent requirements for J1 waivers for the 2004 Fiscal Year. What are those restrictions?

On December 19, 2003, new rules were set forth for HHS waivers for the 2004 Fiscal Year. HHS will no longer agree to recommend waivers for physicians with job offers in all HPSA/MUA areas. Instead, these new rules require that the HPSA/MUA area have a score of 14 or above, and that the sponsoring facility be a Federally designated health center, a rural health clinic, or a Native American/Alaskan native medical facility. These new rules effectively reduce by over 90% the number of physicians who would qualify for the HHS waiver, rendering the program practically useless for most.

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2. How do I proceed an HHS waiver?

Contact us by email or phone and we will gladly assist you with the preparation and filing of the necessary waiver application.

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3. How do I gain more information about the ARC waiver?

Requests for waivers under the ARC J-1 Visa Program must be sponsored by a state within the Appalachian Region. All inquiries should be made to the state contacts listed below.


Charles Lail
Rural Health Programs Manager
Office of Rural Health
RSA Tower, Suite 840
P.O. Box 303017
Montgomery, AL 36130-3017

Phone: (334) 206-5396
Fax: (334)206-5434
E-mail: clail@adph.state.al.us


Monique Rigard
Department of Community Health
Office of Rural Health Services
2 Peachtree Street, 6th Floor 6.120
Atlanta, GA 30303

Phone: (404) 657-6620
E-mail: Mrigard@dma.state.ga.us


Danise Newton
Health Program Administrator
Kentucky Department for Public Health
Division of Adult and Child Health, HS2W-A
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40621

Phone: (502) 564-8966
Fax: (502) 564-6533
E-mail: danise.newton@mail.state.ky.us


Antionette Coward
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Office of Primary Care Services
201 West Preston Street, Room 429
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Phone: (410) 767-5602
E-mail: Cowarda@dhmh.state.md.us


Linda Young
Health Program Specialist Sr.
Alvin Harrion
MARC Recruiter for J-1 Provider
Mississippi State Department of Health
P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, Mississippi 39215-1700

Phone: (601) 576-7216
Fax: (601) 576-7230

New York

Steve Swanson
Associate Health Planner
Bureau of Health Resources Development
New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower, Room 1084
Albany, NY 12237

Phone: (518) 473-7019
Fax: 518-474-0572
E-mail: Sas03@health.state.ny.us

North Carolina

Tom Tucker
Physician Placement Services
311 Ashe Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27606

Phone: (919) 733-2040
Fax: (919) 733-8300


Phil Styer
Primary Care and Rural Health Program
Ohio Department of Health
P.O. Box 118
Columbus, Ohio 43266-0118

Phone: (614) 644-8063
Fax: (614) 644-9850
E-mail: Pstyer@qw.odh.state.oh.us


Constance B. Hanna
Public Health Program Administrator
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Bureau of Health Planning
P.O. Box 90
Harrisburg, PA 17108-0090

Phone: (717) 772-5298
Fax: (717) 705-6525
E-mail: Channa@state.pa.us

South Carolina

Office of Primary Care
Department of Health and Environmental Control
Box 101106
Columbia, SC 29211-0106


Michael Gregory
Program Coordinator
Tennessee Department of Health, Office of Health Access
Cordell Hull Building, 5th Floor
425 5th Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37247

Phone: (615) 741-4007
Fax: (615) 741-1063
E-mail: mgregory@mail.state.tn.us


Brunilda A. Caro-Justin
Program Coordinator
Center for Primary Care Resource Development
Virginia Department of Health
1500 East Main Street, Suite 227
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Phone: (804) 786-4891
Fax: (804) 371-0116
E-mail: bcaro-justin@vdh.state.va.us

West Virginia

Jim Critini
J-1 Visa Waiver Program
Bureau for Public Health
Office of Community and Rural Health Services
Division of Recruitment
350 Capitol Street, Room 515
Charleston, West Virginia 25301

Phone: (304) 558-4382
Fax: (304) 558-1437

Please contact our law firm at (248) 539-5300 to discuss the particulars of applying for an ARC waiver.

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4. How can your firm help me with the HHS and ARC waiver processes?

The attorneys at our firm have special expertise in handling all types of waiver applications, and will be able to provide you with specialized assistance with respect to both HHS and ARC waiver applications.

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