Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health

J-1 Visa Waiver Program - FAQ

How many waivers are available?
No more than 30 waivers will be granted per federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30).

Does South Dakota place any physicians in non-designated areas?
In response to a federally approved program, South Dakota may place up to 10 of the allotted 30 positions in a non-designated area.  Please refer to the special program application.

What specialties qualify for a waiver?
In South Dakota, waiver applications for all specialty areas will be considered.

How do I find job openings in South Dakota?
You may find job openings in South Dakota in a variety of ways. You may wish to visit or to search for openings. You may also search classified ads and professional journals or contact healthcare facilities directly.

How do I determine South Dakota HPSAs or MUAs?
You can find maps of South Dakota's Health Professional Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Areas at this site.

Will the South Dakota Office of Rural Health find me a job?
We do not do direct J-1 physician placement. We only process applications that are submitted by a healthcare facility.

How can I track the progress of my application with the DOS?
Visit to follow your application process through the Department of State.

How long will the J1 Visa Waiver application process take?
The amount of time necessary to completely process an application varies based on level of accuracy in the initial application. Processing time is usually 3-6 months from the time we receive the application to when the Department of State makes a decision.

What are prevailing wages in South Dakota?
Visit to learn about South Dakota wages.

What is life like in South Dakota?
Visit or to get a feel for life in South Dakota. You may also wish to contact the Chamber of Commerce in the area in which you are interested.

Who can I contact for information?
Contact the Office of Rural Health at 605-773-3361 or via email

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