Can I Apply for a J1 Waiver if My USC Spouse Lives in a Different State Than Me? - J1 Visa Waivers

Can I Apply for a J1 Waiver if My USC Spouse Lives in a Different State Than Me?

The J-1 visa program is a popular option for those participating in exchange programs in the United States. However, many J-1 visa holders are subject to the two-year home residency requirement once their program ends, which requires them to return to their home country for at least two years before they can apply for certain immigrant or nonimmigrant visas. A J-1 waiver can help you overcome this requirement—but what if your U.S. citizen (USC) spouse lives in a different state? 

Spousal Residence and J-1 Waiver Eligibility

Fortunately, the location of your USC spouse doesn’t affect your ability to apply for a J-1 waiver. The most important consideration in the J1 waiver decision is based on your situation and qualifications, so as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for your specific category, you can apply for the J-1 waiver. 

Are You Subject to the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement?

Before applying for a J-1 waiver, it’s essential to determine whether you’re subject to the two-year residency requirement. In most cases, your sponsor will let you know, but verifying this information independently is also recommended. 

The two-year home residency requirement generally applies in the following situations:

If you’re unsure whether the two-year home residence requirement applies to your program, consult the experienced immigration attorneys at the Ranchod Law Group.

Determining Eligibility and J-1 Waiver Categories

If you plan to apply for a J-1 waiver, it’s essential to review the eligibility requirements for the specific waiver category you intend to pursue. Under U.S immigration law, there are five bases under which you can apply for a J-1 waiver: 

The J-1 waiver process can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s recommended to work with an experienced immigration attorney who can help guide you through the process. An attorney can help you determine which waiver is most suitable for your situation, help you complete the application, and prepare a persuasive case for why a waiver is needed. 

Get Assistance from an Experienced Legal Team

Regardless of where your USC spouse lives in the United States, you can still apply for a J-1 waiver, provided you meet the eligibility requirements. Since each case is unique, it’s crucial to work with an immigration attorney throughout the application process. With experienced guidance, you can increase your chances of obtaining a J-1 waiver and continuing your journey toward building a life with your spouse in the United States.

The legal obligation to return to your home country for two years can have a disastrous impact on your family and career. Our immigration attorneys have a proven track record of helping our clients overcome the two-year home residency requirement and achieve their dream of living and working in the United States. We’re committed to providing exceptional service personalized to your unique circumstances and take time to prepare a detailed legal brief that presents your case in the most compelling light. 

If you could benefit from legal counsel regarding your case, contact Ranchod Law Group at 916-613-3553 or email us at