PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 246-562 WAC, amending physician visa waivers (J1 visa waiver program).
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 70.185.040.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The current rules governing the J-1 visa waiver application process need to be updated to match changes to Public Law 110-362. This federal law increased the number of waivers that the department can grant to facilities located in nonshortage areas from five to ten. The current rules were last updated in 2006 and do not include this federal requirement. The rules also need to be amended to remove potential barriers to possible applicants and to simplify and clarify the application process. The department proposes collaborative rule making to consider the functionality of the J-1 program and how the process and rules might be amended to improve the customer service experience.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Public Law 110-362 and Federal Register 22 C.F.R. 41.63 (2012) also regulate the J1 visa waiver program. The department of health coordinates with the United States Department of State (DOS) and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure compliance with the federal regulations. DOS and USCIS will be invited to review and comment on draft changes and proposals.
Process for Developing New Rule: Collaborative rule making.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Renee Fullerton, Department of Health, Office of Community Health Systems, P.O. Box 47853, Olympia, WA 98504-7853, phone (360) 236-2814. Interested stakeholders will be able to check the J-1 visa waiver program page on the department of health web site at http://www.doh.wa.gov/PublicHealthandHealthcareProviders/RuralHealth/HealthProfessionalSupportPrograms/J1VisaWaiverProgram.aspx for information about how to participate in the process. In addition, all rule-making notices will be e-mailed to the identified stakeholder groups and other interested parties.
March 25, 2013
Mary C. Selecky