J Visa - Home Residence Requirement - Advisory Opinion Request
If you can not determine for sure whether you are subject to two-year home residency requirement, you can request the advisory opinion from the U.S. Department of State. An Advisory Opinion is a process where Department of State reviews your exchange visitor programs documents to make a determination whether you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement or not.

Application
In order to get the advisory opinion, you must send the following documents:
  • A detailed letter requesting an official opinion whether, based on your file, two-year home country residence requirement applies to you or not.
  • legible copies of every/all Form DS-2019/IAP-66 ever issued to you; and
  • a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Send your documents to:
INA 212(e) Advisory Opinion Request
Waiver Review Division, CA/VO/L/W
U.S. State Department
2401 E Street, NW
SA-1, L-603
Washington, D.C. 20522-0106

Either you (J-1 exchange visitor), your attorney, or the responsible/alternate officer for your exchange visitor program may request for this opinion. You can send the request only by postal mail. You can not fax your request or come in person. Sending by fax is not recommended because DS-2019/IAP-66 forms often become illegible during faxing.

Processing
Upon receipt, U.S. Department of State, within 4 to 6 weeks, will review your documents and determine whether you are subject to two-year residency requirement or not. You will be sent the determination in the self-addressed, stamped envelope you provided.

If you have a case number, you may Check the status online. Otherwise, you may contact Visa Services' Public Inquiries Division at (202) 663-1225. Do not contact the Waiver Review Division.

Result
If the opinion states that you are not subject to HRR, you should show the copy of that letter in lieu of a waiver approval whenever required such as when applying for an H1B visa or when filing for adjustment of status.

If the opinion states that you are subject to HRR, you may explore the options to see if you can get the HRR Waiver.