Participants of some J-1 visa programs are subject to a 2-year home residency requirement.
This means, that these J-1 visa participants will have to return to their home country for at least 2 years after the completion of the exchange visitor program before they are able to obtain a green card or certain non-immigrant visas.
If you are subject to the 2-year home country residency requirement, then you will need to either:
(i) Return to your home country or the country where you permanently resided before you entered the U.S. on a J-1 visa and spend there at least 2 years in aggregate; or
(ii) Apply for a waiver.
One type of a J-1 waiver you could potentially qualify for is a J-1 No objection waiver.
How can I get a No-Objection Statement?
You should first contact your country of nationality/country of your last legal permanent residence through its diplomatic mission (embassy) in Washington DC.
Your home country may or may not issue the “No Objection statement.” If your home country decides to issue the No Objection statement, then it will have to mail it directly to the Department of State Waiver review division.
The letter from your Embassy should state that your country has no objection to you not returning to your home country to satisfy the two-year home-country physical presence requirement and no objection to the possibility of you becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
What is the No-objection waiver application procedure?
First, you will have to complete the visa waiver application (Form 3035) online. You can find more information about this form when you click here. You will then be assigned a J-1 visa waiver case number and a barcode you will be using throughout the application process.
You will then have to mail your waiver application along with form(s) DS2019 and waiver application fee to the Department of State. Please find out more information on where to mail the application when you click here.
Your home country will have to mail the No-objection letter to the Department of State, Waiver Review Division.
The Department of State Waiver Review Division will then review your application. The current processing time for No Objection Waiver is approximately 3-4 months (but these are only estimates).
The Department of State will then forwards its recommendation (if it recommends the waiver to be approved) to USCIS. The DOS Waiver Review Division will review the program you participated in, policy and foreign relations aspects of the case.
Please note that USCIS, not the Department of State makes the final determination on your No Objection waiver request.
Please click HERE to find out more about the J-1 2 year home country residency requirement.
Please click HERE to find out more about the J-1 trainee visa.
Please click HERE to find out more about the J-1 intern visa.
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