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Exchange Visitor Program

Please note the information required for the Research Waivers has changed as of late 2015. Please see Supplemental A for the requirement.

See Frequently Asked Questions for the Exchange Visitor Program.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for managing the U.S. Exchange Visitor Program as it relates to health research and clinical care. This program accepts applications to request waiver of the 2-year foreign residency requirement related to two types of waivers:

  • Research performed in an area of priority or significant interest to the agency, and
  • Health care services needed in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) in the United States.

Physicians with J-1 visas must agree to deliver health care services for three years in a mental health or primary care HPSA.

The HHS Exchange Visitor Waiver Review Board is made up of scientific experts. These experts will evaluate the facts presented in the application and determine if the research program or health services proposed have met the requirements of quality and essential participation.

HHS does not grant waivers. HHS submits its recommendation to approve a waiver request to the Department of State (DoS). DoS submits its approval recommendation to the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Service (USCIS). USCIS is the agency authorized to grant a waiver, officially. (Please note: a waiver application is not an application for U.S. citizenship.)

For further information on this program, see 45 CFR part 50, Federal Register Notice of 1984, still in effect.

Waiver Application General Instructions

IMPORTANT: These instructions apply to both research and clinical care waiver applications. All applications submitted to HHS must include the following:

  • All applications must be submitted by private or non-federal institutions, organizations, or agencies, or by components of HHS.
  • One unbound paper version
  • One identical scanned copy stored on a CD in PDF format

Submissions that do not meet these requirements may be delayed.

Contact Information

Submit all completed applications for Clinical Care to the following address:

Michael Berry
HRSA / Bureau of Health Workforce
Parklawn Building, Room 11W-56
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857

Submit all completed applications for Research to the following address:

Heber Willis
HHS/ Office of Global Affairs
Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW
Room 2008
Washington, DC 20201

For questions please contact Heber Willis at Heber.Willis@hhs.gov.

Content created by Office of Global Affairs (OGA)
Content last reviewed on March 6, 2017