Physician National Interest Waiver

What is a Physician National Interest Waiver?
The National Interest Waiver program is one effort by the Connecticut Department of Public Health to enhance access to care for underserved populations.
The term “National Interest Waiver” (NIW) is taken from a federal Immigration and Naturalization Service law, P.L. 106-95, which provides an avenue for foreign physicians, who meet certain requirements, to secure visas to practice in the United States, eventually leading to possible permanent U.S. residency. Part of the application package the physician submits to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must include a letter from the state health department or a federal agency attesting to:  a) licensure, b) shortage area practice location, and c) that granting this visa is “in the public interest.”
For more details on the National Interest Waiver Permanent Residency Petition application process, please visit the USCIS website.
DPH Program Guidelines
1) The Department of Public Health takes requests directly from physicians or their employers via our request form. This documenting and matching of foreign physicians with eligible communities provides physicians the necessary visas/immigration paperwork to allow them to reside and practice in Connecticut serving needy areas.
2) The physician must practice clinical medicine full-time (no less than 40 hours per week) for a five (5) year period. 3) The physician must practice clinical medicine in a designated primary care or mental health geographic or population Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). HPSA designations can be searched through the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) website. Procedure to request a CT DPH Letter of Support to include in an application for a National Interest Waiver Permanent Residency Petition
Submit the following documents electronically to DPH-PCO@CT.Gov with the subject line: NIW Support Letter Request
Or, you can mail the following documents to the Primary Care Office, at the address: 

Primary Care Office
CT Department of Public Health
410 Capitol Ave. M
Hartford, CT 


1) Form: Request for a DPH Letter of Support

2) A copy of the employment contract, which includes:

a. Signatures of both the NIW physician and employer
b. At least five (5) year term of employment, including the specific start and end dates
c. The job title and/or specialty the physician provides care under
d. Name and physical address of all the full-time practice facilities/sites
e. Minimum of 40 hours per week of direct patient care

3) Evidence that each practice facility is located within a designated shortage area. (A copy of the HRSA query result)

4) A copy of the physician's valid Connecticut Physician's License


Other Useful NIW Links 

The page for J-1 Visa Wavier Through the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
Also referred to as a 'clinical care waiver'

For more Information:
For CT licensing information: (860) 509-8374 or (860) 509-7603
For questions on the NIW Program: (860) 509-8251