A J exchange visitor who is subject to the Section 212(e) home residency requirement may request a waiver of this requirement. The U.S. Department of State or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant such a waiver on a number of grounds. However, you should be aware that just because USCIS has informed you that you are subject to the home residency requirement, does not mean that you are necessarily subject to the requirement. In fact, USCIS is in many instances wrong about whether a foreign national is subject to the home residency requirement.
To assist with your immigration needs following J-1 status, the Callan Law Firm, P.C. offers the following services:
1. The Callan Law Firm, P.C. issues legal opinions determining whether you are subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. You should keep in mind that although you may not be in J-1 status today, you may nonetheless be subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. To learn more about this, contact our office.
2. The Callan Law Firm, P.C. can help you obtain an advisory opinion from the State Department determining whether you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement. This advisory opinion is authoritative and it is essential that a competent immigration attorney assist you in obtaining a favorable opinion.
If you are interested in retaining The Callan Law Firm, P.C. to provide an opinion letter or assist in obtaining an advisory opinion from the State Department, you will need to have the following documents so that we can properly assess your cases:
- Copies of all your IAP-66 Forms (Certificate of Eligibility) since your U.S. arrival; and
- Copies of all your I-94 Forms (Arrival-Departure); and
- Copy of your Visa; and
- Copies of documents describing financial support for your J-1 program.
3. The Callan Law Firm, P.C. can also assist you in obtaining an IGA (Interested Government Agency) waiver. An interested U.S. government agency may recommend that a waiver of the home residency requirement for a particular alien would be in the national interest. This may sometimes occur because the exchange visitor is working for the agency or on a project integral to the agency’s objectives, and a two-year absence may be detrimental to the agency’s efforts. The request from the interested government agency must come from the agency head or designated official and must be submitted directly to the U.S. State Department’s Waiver Review Division.
We will assess the merits of your case, help assure compliance with the applicable IGA’s requirements for waiver applications, revise recommendation letters to make them as persuasive as possible, prepare persuasive Petition Memos, and assist with choosing the appropriate government agency for your waiver request.
So that we can better help you obtain an IGA waiver, you should be prepared to send our Firm a resume, documentation about government funding of your current or prospective employment, and documentation about the program for which you are working or will be working if you get a J-1 waiver, including information about the level of cooperation you anticipate from your employer.
For more information about J-1 visa and waivers, click here.