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
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
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.
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.
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.