Before pursuing a J-1 visa waiver, it is important to do some research. This blog will answer from frequently asked questions on the J-1 Visa Waiver. This blog will provide useful information on this topic however, please remember this blog is not official legal advice and that it is still essential that J-1 visa waiver applicants consult with an immigration attorney before moving forward.
J-1 Visa Waiver – FAQs
Q: Is it possible to submit a waiver that claims both exceptional hardship and fear of persecution possible?
A: No. Never combine those two kinds of waivers.
Q: If my application claims fear of persecution and is subsequently denied, can I appeal it?
A: Yes. It’s possible to send the USCIS a reconsideration request.
Q: How long does it take to process a waiver that claims fear of persecution?
A: After all of the necessary documentation has been received by the State Department, this type of waiver can take up to 3-4 months to process.
Q: I want to apply for a waiver that claims exceptional hardship in the event that I go back to my country of origin. What are the necessary forms that I need to complete?
A: There are two essential forms that have to be filled out and submitted. The USCIS will require Form I-612, and the Department of State will require Form DS-3035.
Q: Which form should I submit first: Form I-612 or Form DS-3035?
A: These forms can be completed simultaneously. However, if you plan on doing one at a time, wait for Form I-612 to be approved before filing Form DS-3035.
Q: The USCIS has denied my application claiming exceptional hardship. Can I file an appeal?
A: Yes. The USCIS accepts reconsideration requests for this particular denial.
Q: I submitted a waiver claiming exceptional hardship. How long will it take to process?
A: The website of the State Department outlines that once the department receives all required documentation, this type of waiver can take up to 3-4 months to process.
Q: If I submit a waiver due to a State Health Agency request, how long will it take to process?
A: The website of the State Department outlines that once the department receives all required documentation, this type of waiver can take up to 4-6 weeks to process.
Q: Is it possible to send the State Health Agency’s forms to the Department of State on my own?
A: No. It is the State Health Agency’s responsibility to send all of the required documentation.
Q: I want to see a list from the Department of Health and Homan Services that outlines areas described as under-served. Where can I obtain this list?
A: The website for the Department of Health and Human Services offers this list.
Q: Once the State Department’s Waiver Review Divison has approved my submission, who is in charge of the final decision?
A: Once the waiver request is approved by the Waiver Review Division, the USCIS will then receive it and offer a final approval or denial.
Q: As a J-2 holder, am I required to fulfill the two-year foreign residency requirement?
A: Yes. The same residency requirements that apply to principals are also applicable to their J-2 holders.
Q: As a J-2 holder, am I exempt from fulfilling the two-year foreign residency requirement if the J-1 principal has been approved for a waiver?
A: Yes. In short, if a J-1 principal is approved for having the two-year foreign residency requirement waived, the same requirement will also be waived for you.
Q: As a J-2 holder, can I independently file for a waiver petition?
A: In most situations, no. However, under certain circumstances, filing independently might be permissible. For example, this type of waiver petition is possible in scenarios where the J-2 holder and J-1 principal enter a divorce, or if the J-1 principal is deceased. Each situation is unique; it’s recommended that you contact an immigration attorney for specific advice.