International Physicians in Rural Louisiana

Louisiana Healthcare Opportunities for International Talent

The federal National Interest Waiver Program allows foreign physicians to request a waiver of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services labor certification requirements based on a letter of support from the Department of Health.

Through the PCO, National Interest Waiver requests are considered to the extent that the applicant/sponsor demonstrates that the need for such placement exists; that the placement is consistent with the Louisiana Department of Health’s mission to ensure access to health care; that the placement supports program objectives of LDH; and that all requirements of the federal program have been met. It is the responsibility of the applicant/sponsor to document a compelling public health interest for waiver support.

Fill out the NIW Application Guidance Package and send completed application packets to:

Program Objectives

  1. To assure access to health care by persons or population groups living in health professional shortage areas (HPSA); medically underserved areas (MUA) and by designated populations unable by reason of poverty or other circumstances to obtain access to a physician (population-based HPSA or medically underserved population (MUP). Federally Qualified Health Centers and Look-alikes are also eligible sites.
  2. To recruit and retain physicians within designated shortage areas of Louisiana who are specifically engaged in providing direct patient care to the underserved residents of their area.
  3. To support medically underserved communities that have a demonstrated inability to recruit or retain physicians.


  • You must agree to work full-time in a clinical practice. For most physician NIW cases, the required period of service is 5 years
  • You must work in a primary care (such as a general practitioner, family practice petitioner, general internist, pediatrician, obstetrician/gynecologist, or psychiatrist) or be a specialty physician
  • You must serve either in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), Mental Health Professional Area (MHPSA – for psychiatrists only), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or a Veterans Affairs facility, or for specialists in a Physician Scarcity Area (PSA)
  • You must obtain a statement from a federal agency or a state department of health that has knowledge of your qualifications as a physician and that states your work is in the public interest (This statement is known as an attestation)

Submission Time Frame

Support letters may be requested year-round.


In the event of a termination of employment , the employer and/or the employee must notify the Primary Care Office in writing within 5 business days of the termination.

How to Apply

Fill out the NIW Application Guidance Package and send completed application packets to:

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