J Visa - Exceptional Hardship Waiver
Irrespective of the statutory basis on which you are applying for the waiver, make sure to read the common waiver application procedures first.

If you are subject to two-year home residence requirement and if complying with it would impose exceptional hardship to your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or child, you may apply for an exceptional hardship waiver.

Mere separation from family is not considered to be sufficient to establish exceptional hardship. Also, the hardship caused to you (J visa holder) is not taken into consideration. Hardship associated with readjustment to the home country is not sufficient either.

However, if your spouse or child have any mental or physical conditions that require treatment that can't be provided in your home country may be sufficient to prove exceptional hardship. Other factors such as U.S. spouse's career, home-country conditions, income contribution of each spouse (especially that of the J visa holder), discrimination and educational opportunities may be considered. You must well document each factor to for to increase the change of getting this waiver as generally it is difficult to get this waiver approved.

In addition to the regular waiver application with the U.S. Department of State, you must submit Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement, directly to USCIS.

USCIS will forward its decision directly to the Waiver Review Division of the U.S. Department of State. Only if USCIS makes a finding of exceptional hardship, the Waiver Review Division will proceed with the waiver recommendation under this basis.

Application Submission
The waiver application with U.S. Department of State (DOS) can be submitted either before you submit Form I-612 to USCIS or after USCIS has made the favorable decision. However, if you submit the waiver application to USDOS before you submit Form I-612 to USCIS, and USCIS does not make an exceptional hardship finding, you will not get any fee refund from USDOS.

You can apply for a waiver based on persecution and exceptional hardship simultaneously. You may apply only under only one of these two bases.

Status Check
Through USCIS Case Status Check online.

If your Form I-612 request was denied by USCIS, request to reconsider persecution must be made to USCIS.