J-1 Visa Waiver

/ Non-immigrant visas

A J-1 visa waiver is a process that allows a J-1 visa holder to be excused from the requirement of returning to their home country for two years after completing their J-1 exchange visitor program in the United States. This two-year home residency requirement is often referred to as the “212(e) requirement“ based on the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act.


The J-1 visa waiver is typically sought for the following reasons:

No Objection Statement: If the applicant's home country government has no objection to them not returning home for two years, they may provide a “No Objection Statement“;

Persecution or Exceptional Hardship: If returning to the home country would result in persecution or exceptional hardship, the J-1 visa holder can seek a waiver based on this ground.

Interested Government Agency (IGA) Request: In cases where the J-1 visa holder's work or expertise is of interest to a U.S. federal agency, the agency can request a waiver on the J-1 visa holder's behalf;

Conrad 30 Waiver Program: For J-1 physicians who agree to work in medically underserved areas, the Conrad 30 program allows state health departments to recommend waivers of the two-year home residency requirement;

Fulfillment of the Requirement: In some cases, J-1 visa holders may fulfill the two-year home residency requirement by returning to their home country or another country for two years before applying for another U.S. visa.

Successfully obtaining a J-1 visa waiver allows the individual to remain in the United States without fulfilling the two-year home residency requirement, making it possible to pursue other non-immigrant visas or permanent residency in the U.S.

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It's important to note that the process and requirements for J-1 visa waivers can be complex and depend on the specific category of the J-1 exchange program and the grounds for seeking the waiver. Kananchuk Law Office will help you to navigate the waiver process successfully. Contact us to discuss your specific situation.

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