Congress and the President signed into law a bill granting each state the ability to sponsor annually as many as thirty (30) waivers for J-1 Visa physicians to work in federally-designated shortage areas. This legislation is referred to as the Conrad 30 bill.
The Conrad 30 (J-1 Visa Waiver) Program exists because states are permitted to recommend Visa waivers for a physician recruited to practice in federally designated HPSAs and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) of the State. Maryland is authorized, in Section 214-(1) of the Immigration and Nationalization Act [8USC-Section 1184(1)], to submit waiver recommendations to the Waiver Review Section of the U.S. Department of State. In Maryland, this authority is delegated to the Department of Health where it is handled by the Office of Workforce Development within the Office of Population Health Improvement.
The State of Maryland recommends physicians holding J-1 Visas for waivers, with the priority to improve access to primary care services in federally designated shortage areas. Out of the 30 slots, Maryland can utilize up to 10 spots as FLEX spots. FLEX spots do not require the provider to be working in a federally designated shortage area.
Process in Maryland:
Every year Maryland receives 30 J-1 Visa Waiver slots. These slots are allocated on the federal fiscal year (October- September). Applications will be accepted from October 1st through December 1st for primary care and specialist physicians practicing in Flex and Non-Flex locations. Applications will be reviewed by the J-1 Visa Waiver review panel after December 1. For more information about the review process, click on the link below to Maryland Policy and Procedures.
OPHI Workforce Development Program gives preference to those applications from:
To view the application materials click here.
Maryland Policy and Procedures (Updated)
To view the policy and procedures click here.
To sign up for our Workforce Listserv to receive updates about our J-1 Visa Waiver Program click here.
Maryland Department of Health
201 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767- 6123
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464