J1 Waviers | J1 Waiver Laywers

J-1 Waivers

J-1 visas (or Exchange Visitor Visas) are non-immigrant visas that allow foreign exchange visitors to work and/or study in the U.S. for a specified time, depending on the program. After their program has ended, most J-1 holders must return to their home countries for two years before returning to the United States. 

The Foreign Residency Requirement (also known as the Two-year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement or Home Residence Requirement) prevents J-1 visa holders from receiving an H or L visa or permanent residence until the two-year requirement is complete. However, J-1 visa holders can apply to waive the Foreign Residency requirement (which allows them to continue living and working in the U.S.) if they meet specific eligibility requirements. 

The 5 Bases of J-1 Waivers 

There are five bases on which a J1 visa holder can apply for a J1 visa waiver. These include:

  • No objection statement from your country of origin
  • Exceptional hardship to your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or child
  • Persecution based on your race, religion, culture, political views, profession, or lifestyle
  • Request by an interested U.S. federal government agency due to national interest
  • Request by a designated state public health department or its equivalent due to a need for medical care in an underserved area

It’s important to note that J-1 visa waivers aren’t always easy to obtain; each one of these bases also has specific application processes and requirements. Please schedule a consultation for more information on how you might qualify for a J1 waiver. 

The J-1 Waiver Application Process

The J-1 waiver process can vary depending on your J1 program, but it typically involves the following:

  • Determining whether you’re eligible to apply for a J1 waiver
  • Obtain a recommendation from your sponsor, government agency, or U.S. embassy (if required by the waiver category you’re applying for)
  • Submit the waiver application, along with the application fee and supporting documentation
  • USCIS will review your application and make a decision
  • If approved, you can apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status, depending on whether you’re applying from abroad or inside the U.S. 

Get Help with Your J1 Waiver

Applying for the J1 waiver can be complex and confusing, especially if you’re not sure of which grounds you can apply under. However, Ranchod Law Group has helped countless clients have their 2-year home residency requirement waived so they could continue to live and work in the U.S. 

We provide comprehensive support and guidance throughout the application process, including helping you prepare your application and supporting documents, communicating with government agencies on your behalf, and creating a strategy for receiving your green card after your waiver has been approved. For more information on how we can assist you, please get in touch with us to schedule a consultation, or feel free to browse through the following resources: