Skip to main content
Due to COVID-19, CRH will continue working remotely until further notice.


  • DOS - Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Waiver Review Division
    The federal agency that reviews the recommendations submitted by interested state agencies on behalf of J-1 Physician applicants. In turn, they submit their own recommendations to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for final determination of approval/disapproval.
  • Federally Designated Shortage Areas
    Includes HPSAs, MUAs, and MUPs Full-Time Clinical Practice Defined as working a minimum of 40 hours per week, for at least 45 weeks each service year. The 40 hours per week may be compressed into no less than four days per week, with no more than 12 hours of work performed in a 24-hour period. Participants do not receive credit for hours worked over the required 40 hours per week and excess hours cannot be applied to any other work week. Research and teaching are not considered to be clinical practice. On-call status will not count towards the 40-hour work week, except to the extent the provider is directly serving patients during that period. Up to seven (7) weeks, or 35 work days, of leave is allowed from the service site each year.
  • HPSA - Health Professional Shortage Area
    An area defined by the US Department of Health & Human Services as having a shortage of healthcare providers.
  • MUA - Medically Underserved Area
    A defined geographic area with a low provider-to-population ratio, or other high needs factors.
  • MUP - Medically Underserved Population
    A population group with barriers to healthcare access due to culture, language or economics.
  • Primary Care Provider
    A physician practicing general/family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, and/or general obstetrics/gynecology.
  • NDPCO – North Dakota Primary Care Office
    For the purpose of these guidelines, NDPCO is defined as the North Dakota Department of Health along with its subcontractor, the North Dakota Center for Rural Health. Together, these programs oversee and monitor the J-1 Visa Waiver Program.
  • Service Site
    The physical location(s) where the J-1 Physician will provide medical services. This location can be different from the sponsoring site location if, for example, a satellite office is used.
  • Specialist
    A medical practice focus other than a primary care provider.
  • USCIS – United States Citizenship and Immigration Service
    The governmental body that is responsible for the final recommendation to approve or deny the J-1 Visa waiver. This is a bureau in the Department of Homeland Security.