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J Visa – Home Residence Requirement Waiver

If you are just subject to the two-year home-country residence requirement but are unable to fulfill the requirement, you may send a request to the U.S. Department of State, Waiver Review Division for a recommendation that USCIS grant a waiver under any of the five statutory bases. You should choose one basis that you qualify for or applies to your specific situation. There is no guarantee that your waiver application will be approved.

Application Procedure

  1. Online application

    Complete Form DS-3035, J Visa Waiver Recommendation Application. 

    You must complete an online form and print it to submit by mail. Any other version of the form cannot be used and will be returned to you without the processing fee, which is non-refundable.

    Application Instructions:
    • Item 12 (If your approval was on Form IAP-66):
      SEVIS Number – N0000000000 (10 zeros)
      Subject Field Code – 00. followed by the 4-digit subject field code number. e.g., 00.2546
    • Item 17 – If you entered on a J visa more than 12 years ago, the date should be mark as February 1, 1999.
    • Item 14 – List your spouse or children on J2 visa here.
      Once you complete the form, you must print (in black and white only) your online Form DS-3035 with barcode. You will be issued a waiver case number immediately. 

  2. Mail Application and Payment

    Documents:
    • Your printed online application, Form DS-3035, with barcode.
    • Legible copies of all Form DS-2019/IAP-66 ever issued to you.
    • Two self-addressed, stamped legal-size envelopes
    • Application fee.
      Send all of the above documents to: 

      If Postal Service:

      U.S. Department of State
      Waiver Review Division
      P.O. Box 952137
      St. Louis, MO 63195-2137

      If Courier Service:

      U.S. Department of State
      Waiver Review Division
      (Box 952137)
      1005 Convention Plaza
      St. Louis, MO 63101-1200 

      Make sure to send all of the above document together. If you don’t send the application and the fee payment together, your will application will not be processed and returned to you. 

      Once the office in St. Louis, MO, processes the application fee, the case will be forwarded to the Department of State, Waiver Review Division in Washington, D.C. You can’t send your application directly to Washington, D.C.

  3. Supporting Documents 

    Depending on the statutory basis you are applying the waiver under, certain third parties need to send the supporting documents to Waiver Review Division. You may only apply under one basis at a time.

    No Objection Statement Waiver 

    Exception Hardship to a U.S. Citizen (or Lawful Permanent Resident) Spouse or Child of an Exchange Visitor Waiver 

    Fear of Persecution Waiver 

    Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency Waiver 

    Designated State Public Health Department or its Equivalent (Conrad State 30 Program) Waiver 

    Relevant third parties should send the supporting documents directly to Waiver Review Division at:
    U.S. Department of State
    Visa Services
    Waiver Review Division
    2401 E Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20522-0106 

  4. Check Status 

    Approximately one month after the third parties send the document, you can Check the status online. You will be able to see what documents have been received or missing. The Waiver Review Division will not follow up with third parties regarding supporting documents that have not been received by them. Therefore, it is your responsibility to follow up with them to make sure that they are sent. 

    You will need your waiver case number to check the status. 

    You should not call Waiver Review Division directly to check the status. However, if there has been an error if you want to clarify a situation regarding your case, you can call Public Inquiries Division at (202) 663-1225. 

    While the application is pending or being processed, if your contact information such as address, phone number, or email address changes, you can update them using the link “Inform the Department of State of a change to personal data” under “What would you like to do?”

  5. More Information Needed

    If the Waiver Review Division needs further information or additional documents from you, you will be contacted by them. You should send the required information/documents to: 

    U.S. Department of State
    Visa Services
    Waiver Review Division
    2401 E Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20522-0106 

    The above address must NOT be used to send the initial application.

    You should NOT call to to check whether they received your documents or not. Please use the online case status check system as it will indicate whether particular documents have been received or not.

    Also, while your application is pending at the Waiver Review Division and you have new relevant information that may affect your eligibility for a waiver, you may send that information at the above address as well. However, you are encouraged to do your best when submitting the application initially itself.

    Please write your case number on any documents you send as well on the outside of the envelope.

  6. Processing Times 

    Processing times for waiver applications vary based on the statutory basis applied under. The following estimated processing times apply from the time the file is complete (all documents are received by them): 

    Advisory Opinion – 4 to 6 weeks
    No Object Statement – 6 to 8 weeks
    Exceptional Hardship – 3 to 4 months
    Persecution – 3 to 4 months
    Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency – 4 to 8 weeks
    State Public Health Department (Conrad State 30 Program) – 4 to 6 weeks 

    In case your application requires further administrative processing, it will take longer. 

    Do not attempt to call or come in person to check the status of your case or discuss the details. They do not have an “in-person” information service. 

  7. Department of State Recommendation and Final Determination by USCIS 

    Once the Department of State, Waiver Review Division completes the review of the application, it will send its recommendation directly to USCIS and mail you the copy. 

    USCIS makes the final determination on your waiver request and will notify you by mail. 

    Once the case is with USCIS, you must contact USCIS directly to know the status of your case.

Approval

Once your waiver gets approved, that alone does not extend your authorized stay in the U.S. You may no longer be eligible for J-1 visa extensions. As obtaining a waiver sometimes may take one year or more, you should accordingly plan to have a different non-immigrant status in the U.S. once the J-1 waiver is approved. You would most likely apply for an H-1B visa if you are planning to do a job.

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