Have Questions About a J-1 Waiver

Posted on October 5th, 2016

Are you currently in J-1 status or have you previously held J-1 status? Many individuals learn after they have already started in J-1 status that they may have a two-year home residency requirement.  Sometimes a J-1 host, sponsor or school will inform an individual that they will need a “waiver”.  Other times an individual may receive a J-1 visa and see an odd notation at the bottom of the visa or on the DS-2019 that states “subject to two-year home residency requirement” or “subject to 212(e)”.  With so many ways to say the same thing, you can see how an individual might be confused by this whole process.

So what does this mean for a J-1 individual and what steps should a J-1 take to figure out if this rule applies to them?  Read below for Celebrezze Law’s recommendations.

Firstly, if an individual in J-1 status is told they have a two-year home residency requirement or are subject to 212(e), this means that before they would be able to change into another non-immigrant visa or receive permanent residence (a green card), that individual with have to do one of two things:

  1. Spend two years residing in their home country or country of last residence before receiving the J-1 visa OR
  2. Obtain a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement
So how do you know if this rule applies to you?  Gather all of your J-1 documents, your DS-2019, your J-1 visa, etc. and look carefully for any notations regarding “two-year home residency” or “212(e)”.
It is highly recommended that you consult with an immigration attorney regarding whether or not this rule applies to you, as it can have a dramatic impact on your future options of working in the United States.
If there is a question as to whether the rule applies to you, an attorney can assist you in obtaining an advisory opinion, and in cases where you are subject to the rule, an immigration attorney will be able to review your situation and inform you whether or not you may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement.
If you’re in J-1 and have questions about whether you are subject to 212(e), contact our office today by going to our site.