Physicians: Federal Interested
Government Agency (IGA) Waivers

physician J Waivers Immigration Attorney Carl Shusterman (Former INS Attorney 1976-82) explains how International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and Canadian physicians can obtain J waivers through Interested Government Agency (IGA) applications by Federal Agencies including (1) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), (2) the Veterans Administration (VA), (3) the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and (4) the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

Federal agencies are permitted to sponsor IMGs and Canadian physicians who receive graduate medical education in the U.S. using J exchange visitor status for waivers of the requirement that they return to their home countries for 2 years before they are permitted to return to the United States using H-1B visas, L visas or green cards.

The 4 most active federal agencies sponsoring physicians are the HHS, the VA, the DRA and the ARC. We link to the J waiver programs of each of these agencies.

HHS sponsors primary care physicians in mediPhysicians J Waiverscally-underserved areas across the U.S. The DRA and the ARC also sponsor primary care physicians, but only those practicing within the geographical areas of these agencies. The DRA covers certain counties located adjacent to the Mississippi River Delta. The ARC is composed of various states in the Appalachian Mountain Range in addition to certain Southern states.


The Veterans Administration sponsors both specialists and primary care physicians who agree to work directly for the VA in areas where the agency is unable to locate U.S.-trained physicians to fill vacancies.



The Law Offices of Carl Shusterman have assisted over 3,000 International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and Canadian physicians in obtaining J waivers through Interest Government Agency (IGA) waivers, H-1B status and permanent residence over the past 25 years.

Further information is available on our J Waivers for Physicians page.


“I’ve had a decade of experience with Mr. Shusterman’s law firm. I used them for my immigration needs from H1 to citizenship. It is safe to say this is one of the most competent, professional and knowledgeable law firms. If there is a firm that can handle any possible immigration case routine or otherwise; then this is it.” (More client reviews…)


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