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J-1 WAIVER

Some individuals who have had a J-1 or J-2 visa are required to return to their home country for two- years before they are eligible to return to the United States in certain visa categories, or to obtain permanent resident status here. However, these individuals can avoid the foreign residence requirement by obtaining a J-1 visa waiver.
 
J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR VISAS
Individuals in J-1 or J-2 visa status are sometimes subject to foreign residence requirement under section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and are required to return to their home country for two years before they are eligible to return to the United States in certain visa categories or to obtain permanent resident status in the United States.
Contact us today to discuss your options.
 
J-1 waiveRS

In some circumstances, J-1 visa waiver may be available to waive the two-year home residency requirement. The following waiver categories may be an option for you:

  • No Objection waiver

  • Interested government agency (IGA) waiver

  • Exceptional hardship waiver

  • Persecution waiver

 
J-1 waiver for physicians

Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs or IMGs) who are on J-1 visa pursuing graduate medical training or education are always subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement.  If a physician does not wish to comply with such requirement, he/she may apply for a J-1 waiver based on one of these grounds:

  • Conrad 30 program: Conrad 30 program is administered by states and allows for up to 30 physicians to be sponsored for the waiver on an annual basis. There are both common requirements as well as state-specific requirements for Conrad 30 program. Generally though, a physician who has an offer of full-time employment in a designated HPSA (Health Professional Shortage Area) or MUA (Medically Underserved Area) or at a health care facility which serves patients from such a designated area, may obtain a waiver. The waiver requires a 3-year commitment from the physician to practice in the underserved area.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Waiver: HHS acts as an interested government agency in sponsoring physicians for a waiver, either based on clinical care or research. Clinical care waiver requires a job offer of full-time employment in a medically underserved area and requires a 3-year commitment from the physician to practice in the underserved area.

  • Other Interested Government Agency (IGA) waivers:  

    • Department of Veterans Affairs

    • Appalachian Regional Commission

    • Delta Regional Commission

  • Exceptional hardship to a United States citizen or permanent resident spouse or child of an FMG.  

  • Persecution: If a physician believes that he/she will be persecuted upon the return to the home country, such physician may be able to obtain a waiver on this basis.

 

Note: “No Objection Statement” waiver is not available to FMGs. However, it may be an additional requirement for IGA sponsored waivers if the physician received government funding.

Contact our office for more information.