Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health

J-1 Visa Waiver Program - Application Process, Content & Review

  • Once an employment agreement is obtained with a facility located in a HPSA or MUA, the applicant must obtain a United States Department of State case number. To do so, follow the instructions at
  • Upon receipt of the Department of State case number by the applicant, requests for a waiver of the foreign residence requirement should be made by the employing facility directly to the Office of Rural Health. The Office of Rural Health will review applications in the order in which they are received.

  • Applications will be accepted on October 1st of each year, If October 1st falls on a weekend, applications will be accepted on the first business day following October 1st. Only applications received on or after the starting date will qualify for review and consideration.

    One unbound original of the waiver request application should be delivered to:

    South Dakota Department of Health
    Office of Rural Health
    600 E. Capitol
    Pierre, South Dakota 57501

    A non-refundable fee of $200 payable to the Department of Health must accompany each application. The department shall return all applications not accompanied by the required fee.

    For more information, call 1-800-738-2301 or email.

  • Once received by the South Dakota Office of Rural Health, the application will be verified for completeness and evidence that the J-1 physician will provide service to a shortage area. Upon completion of the review process, the Office of Rural Health will advise the Secretary of Health as to whether to recommend a request for a waiver of the home residence requirement. If the decision is in the affirmative, the application, along with necessary cover letters, will be sent to the United States Department of State.

    No more than 30 waivers will be granted per federal fiscal year, (October 1 through September 30).

  • You may check the Department of State status of your application by visiting
Share via: