Applying for a Waiver of the Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement for J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. This visa is for those who intend to participate in a U.S. Department of State (DOS) approved program for teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.
The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program to share their exchange experiences. Click here for more information about the Exchange Visitor Visa.
What is the Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement?
When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program and your program falls under the conditions explained below, you will be subject to the two-year home-country physical presence (foreign residence) requirement. This means you will be required to return to your home country for two years at the end of your exchange visitor program.
Exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, must return to their home country for a cumulative total period of at least two years before they can change status to temporary worker (H) or intracompany transferee (L); or adjust status to lawful permanent resident status; or receive an immigrant visa, a temporary worker (H), intracompany transferee (L), or fiancé (K) visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
What are the bases upon which I can apply for a waiver of the Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement?
Review the Waiver Eligibility webpage, which explains in detail the five bases set forth in U.S. immigration law under which one may apply for a waiver. You may only apply under one waiver basis, so select the one basis under which you believe you qualify for a waiver or that applies to your situation. The five bases for recommendation of a waiver are:
What are the steps to apply for a Waiver?
The process can be time-consuming and document intensive. Please contact us to find out how we can assist you. We are here to help!
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