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J1 waiver (do I need one???)

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  • J1 waiver (do I need one???)

    I'm a MD but came to the USA on a J1 visa as a research scholar (I don't practice here). I'm subject to the 2- year residence rule. I'll have to go back to my country and stay there for one year (based on the contract with my sponsoring agency, from my country's government). After this 1- year period, I'd like to come back (also as a researcher), applying for an O1 visa. To obtain this kind of visa, do I still need the J1 waiver (or do I need it only if I apply for a H1b or for a permanent resident status)? In case I need the waiver, is it possible to obtain it based on a non- objection letter from my country (I've heard that physicians can not ask for waivers based on this letter, but does this apply, since I'm not here practicing, but as a researcher??). I hope someone can answer me, because I'm a bit confused with what I've read about the waiver so far. Thanks!!

  • #2
    I'm a MD but came to the USA on a J1 visa as a research scholar (I don't practice here). I'm subject to the 2- year residence rule. I'll have to go back to my country and stay there for one year (based on the contract with my sponsoring agency, from my country's government). After this 1- year period, I'd like to come back (also as a researcher), applying for an O1 visa. To obtain this kind of visa, do I still need the J1 waiver (or do I need it only if I apply for a H1b or for a permanent resident status)? In case I need the waiver, is it possible to obtain it based on a non- objection letter from my country (I've heard that physicians can not ask for waivers based on this letter, but does this apply, since I'm not here practicing, but as a researcher??). I hope someone can answer me, because I'm a bit confused with what I've read about the waiver so far. Thanks!!

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    • #3
      I'm in the situation you are in, except not in your field of occupation.

      To my knowldege and experience, you need to resolve your J1 status before you can apply for another visa. You simply can't "switch" from your J1 into an H1b visa simply because you have that 2 yr. residency requirement... and in order to resolve this you need to go through the "No Objection" waiver.

      The genereal rule in regards to J1 visa having the 2 year home residency is that you must comply by going to back to your home country and fulfill the 2 year requirement before you can reapply to come to the USA again. You can however apply for the home residency waiver by obtaining a "No Objection" waiver letter from your embassy. I'm not sure what your country's regulation is concerning the field of occupation you are in, but you should ask and see if your embassy is willing to help issue the letter. To my understanding, a government sponsored visa such as yours usually requires you to go home, where in my case my J1 was sponsored through private US company (I'm not sure why I was given a J1 visa considering it wasn't sponsored by my country, but I still have to go through the painstaking procedure). Government sponsored J1 usually means they sponsored you for the reason that you will apply whatever skills you acquired here in the US in your home country. It also depends on the demand of the skill your country needs, ex. medical, scientific or any highly specialized skill is needed over other non specialized skills.

      As far as procedures go, you need to find out if your embassy will issue you the "No Objection" letter. If they do issue you, the letter will need to sent to the US State Dept. by your embassy (on your behalf) and the State Dept. will then give you a recommendation of approval or not. If the State Dept. favorably recommends the waiver, then you can look into your options. If the State Dept. won't recommend the waiver, you can appeal the waiver. I'm not sure how the appeals process works, but I do know you can appeal should there be problems.

      I hope this helps. Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        I also forgot to mention that you need to comply the stipulation of your J1 with the 2 yr. residency rule. It is like a contract, where just because your sponsoring agency will "let you go" after 1 year doesn't mean you can reapply to come back to the US after 1 year: if the J1 visa states you need to fulfill 2 years, INS expect not to hear anything from you until after 2 years.

        As for applying for the O1 visa, you will need to provide proof of your exemplary skills. Again, I don't know how it works in the medical field in obtaining O1 visas, but I know it is pretty hard to get one. I know people that have O1 visas, but thats because they are high profile artists. I hope things work out for you, best of luck again.

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        • #5
          Home residency condition commonly called 212e is only waived by fulfilling certain conditions.
          http://www.usvisainfo.com/j1/j1.htm
          This is probably most extensive and free information you can get on the web.
          As long as in your case of switchig over to O visa, yes it is possible. O visa is initially for 3 yrs and after that yearly renewable with no limit. BUT once you transfer to O visa your home residency condition deos not vanish. When ever you want to transfer to any other kind of visa or Greeen Card, you will still have to fulfill the condition of 212-e, ( two year home residency).
          These are the conditions as applied to IMG ( international Medical Graduates). One more thing, a doctor cannot get a waiver on the basis of NO Objection from home country.

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          • #6
            Your J1 status have two year residency not one year. To waive this requirement either you should be married to USC or have USC dependent. which you can prove extreme hardship. And NO , no objection is not qualify for the base of waiver. You can come back on O1 but its only possible after your time period of two years expires. If you want to come before the two year condition you need to get a waiver and it should be on the extreme condition of USC/Childern for hardship.

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            • #7
              You don't necessarily need to be married to a USC or have a USC dependant to get a waiver in this case. Be it if a J1 holder marries to a USC or not, Patri will still be subject to the 2 yr residency, and there's no way of going around it! As Karry, says, Patri can't simply "switch" from J1 visa into another visa simply because the J1 requirements need to be resolved, and obtaining a No Objection letter from his home government supports his waiver application.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the replies!!
                Yes, I've also got some information in a chat with an immigration lawyer, it's seems that:
                I don't need a waiver if I aplly for a O1. I can reenter the country on any type of visa during this 2- year period, except on a H1b. I also can not apply for PR status during this period, even through marriage. If I want to aplly for H1b of PR, I need a waiver or to stay 2- years in my country.
                As for the non- objection letter, I've heard that physicians that are here acquiring "medical trainning" that were sponsored by US gov or home gov may not aplly based on such letter. But this is not my case, I'm here doing research, not medical trainning, so I still have doubts if I could apply for a waiver with a non- objection letter. Anyone in a simililar situation? Thanks again!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Obs: on my pink form, I'm on the "research scholar" category not on "alien physician" category, does that help in anything???

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