PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 246-562 WAC, J-1 Physician visa waiver regulations.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 70.185 RCW, federal legislation Public Law 108-441.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Changes made to the federal law authorizing the J-1 visa waiver program in November 2004 will permit the use of five of the thirty waivers for physicians to be employed in nondesignated health professional shortage areas. The law also permits waivers for specialist physicians based on criteria established by state agencies. The rules will establish criteria for health care facilities seeking to employ J-1 physicians in nondesignated areas and address criteria for specialist physicians.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: There are federal rules that regulate the J-1 visa waiver program. This program coordinates with the United States Department of State (DOS) and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) to ensure compliance with the federal regulations. DOS and INS [CIS] will be included in all mailings.
Process for Developing New Rule: Program staff will use mailings and community work sessions to solicit input on rule amendments.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Jennell Prentice, Office of Community and Rural Health, P.O. Box 47834, Olympia, WA 98504-7834, phone (360) 236-2814, fax (360) 664-9273, e-mail J1rules@doh.wa.gov.
January 5, 2005
M. C. Selecky