J-1 Waiver

Exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement may be able to waive this requirement if they meet certain conditions. 

“No Objection” Letter

Your home country government may issue a No Objection Statement, through its embassy in Washington, DC. The embassy must send the No Objection Statement to the Waiver Review Division. It must state your government has no objection to you not returning to your home country to satisfy the two-year home-country physical presence requirement and no objection to the possibility of you becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Note: U.S. law does not permit foreign medical physicians who acquired exchange visitor (J-1) visa status on or after January 10, 1977, to receive graduate medical education or training to use this option.

Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency:

If the exchange visitor is working on a project for or of interest to a U.S. Federal Government Agency, and that agency has determined that the visitor’s continued stay in the U.S. is vital to one of its programs, a Waiver may be granted if the exchange visitor’s continued stay in the U.S. is in the public interest

Threat of Persecution

If the person with J-1 status can establish that he or she will suffer persecution upon return to the home country, the foreign residency requirement will be waived. The threat of persecution needs to be based on one of the following three grounds: Race; Religion; or; Political Opinion.

The alien has the burden to prove that he/she will be subject to persecution.In hardship and persecution cases, J-1 waiver applicants file a Form I-612 application with the USCIS service center handling such cases These J-1 Waiver requests should be originated with USCIS.

Exceptional Hardship to a U.S. citizen (or lawful permanent resident) spouse or child of an exchange visitor:

If the exchange visitor can demonstrate that his/her departure from the U.S. would cause extreme hardship to his/her U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident spouse or child, the exchange visitor may apply for a Waiver. (The mere separation from family is not considered to be sufficient to establish exceptional hardship.)

The Conrad 30 Waiver program allows J-1 medical doctors to apply for a waiver for the 2-year residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. See section 214(l) of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA).

1.have an offer of full-time employment at a health care facility in a designated health care professional shortage area or at a health care facility which serves patients from such a designated area;

2.agree to begin employment at that facility within 90 days of receiving a waiver; and

3.sign a contract to continue working at that health care facility for a total of 40 hours per week and for not less than three years.