The J-1 visa is unique in one respect -- it generally requires its holders to return to their home country for at least two years after their J-1 visa status, including any extensions, has expired. This restriction is known as the J-1 two-year home residency requirement. Five major categories of waivers are possible, however, including the so-called Conrad 30 waiver for foreign medical doctors.
People whose presence in the US is based on a J-1 visa are subject to a requirement that other visa holders are not subject to -- the two-year home residency requirement. The purpose of this requirement is for J-1 visa holders to use their newfound skills to assist people in their home countries. Five major waivers of the home residence requirement are available, however, one of which is the “exceptional hardship” waiver.
Most people who are in the United States in J-1 status are required to return to their home country for two years before seeking further residence in the United States. Nevertheless, there are five situations in which this two-year home residency requirement can be waived. One of these situations is when you have a legitimate fear of persecution based on your race, religion, or political beliefs if you return to your home country.
If you enter the United States on a J-1 exchange visitor visa (or adjust your status to J-1 while in the United States), you are likely to be subject to the two-year home residency requirement. This means that, unless an exception applies, you will be required to return home for at least two years once your J-1 status expires -- you cannot apply for permanent residency or H-1B status, for example.
If you are an exchange visitor to the US holding a J-1 visa, you are likely to be subject to the two-year home residency requirement once your J-1 status expires. That means that you are expected to return home for at least two years rather than remain in the US in some other immigration status.
People who enter the US on a J-1 visa are generally not allowed to extend their stay in the US after the completion of their J-1 waiver status. Instead, they are expected to return to their home countries for at least two years. The US offers five major bases upon which you can apply for a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.
A certain amount of red tape is required to obtain a J-1 waiver, even if your eligibility is not in doubt. It is in your best interests to get it right the first time, because any deficiencies in your application could cause unnecessary delay. In today’s unstable immigration law environment, any change that takes place during a delay is likely to be adverse to you. Following is a general rundown of the steps you need to take to obtain a J-1 waiver.
The J-1 exchange visitors visa allows exchange visitors to participate in a one- to five-year cultural or educational exchange program that is overseen by the US Department of State. J-1 status is awarded for exchange visitors who are participating in teaching, lecturing, studying, training, observing, researching or consulting programs, and is sometimes funded by the participant’s home country.
Our client retained Herman Legal Group counsel to assist with legal matters and potentially save his life. A citizen of Baghdad, Iraq, our client has been present in the US since 2013 on J-1 status.