My Fees: $2500
The foreign residence requirement is codified in section 212(e)
of the INA and requires certain J1 visa exchange visitors to return home for a
minimum of two years before changing status to an H-1B visa, an L visa or
adjusting status to that of a green card holder. A J1 waiver is not needed,
however, for a change of status to an F1 student visa.
Why is a J1 Waiver required?What is a J1 waiver?
funding from the United States Government, their own government, or an
international organization in connection with their participation in the
Exchange Visitor Program;
pursuing education, training, or a skill that appears on the Exchange
Visitor Skills List for their country; or
J1 status on or after January 10, 1977, for the purpose of receiving
graduate medical education or training.
- No Objection Letter: A J1
visa holder who is subject to the foreign residence requirement can obtain
a letter from the home government stating that there is no objection to
that person staying in the US without returning home for two years.
Medical doctors who came to the US for graduate medical training cannot
get a J1 waiver based on a no objection letter.
- Interested Government Agency (IGA):
J1 visa exchange program participants who have an important role in a
research project, and can prove that returning home for two years would
negatively impact the project, can get their J1 waiver sponsored by a
government agency that has an interest in the project. Doctors who agree
to work for VA Hospitals run by the US Veterans’ Administration or medical
facilities in under served areas can obtain an IGA J1 waiver of the
foreign residence requirement.
- Persecution: J1 visa
exchange program participants who believe that they will be persecuted if
they return to the home country due to race, religion or political opinion
can seek a J1 waiver based on persecution.
- Hardship: If a J1 visa
holder has a US citizen or green card holder spouse or child, he or she
can apply for a J1 waiver based on hardship. To receive the J1 waiver, the
applicant must show that his or her departure from the US would cause
extreme hardship to the US citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- State Department of Health:
Doctors who have a full-time job offer at a health-care facility in a
designated medical professional shortage area can apply for a J1 waiver if
they agree to start working within 90 days of obtaining the waiver. The
doctor must sign a contract promising to work at the facility for 40 hours
a week for a minimum of three years.