Is There Any Other Visa Type I Can Change
to Before Returning to My Home Country for Two Years?

Dr. William:

As a J1 exchange visitor, I am subject to the 212(e) requirement of 2 year home country service. I am consider to apply for the J1 waiver now, but is there any other visa type I can change to before returning to my home country for two years?


Answer: 

The O1 visa for Extraordinary Ability Aliens is the only nonimmigrant work visa that is available to J1 exchange visitors with a 212(e) requirement. The O1 visa requires to show that the alien is a recognized scholar in his/her field to meet the requirements for O1 visa eligibility. 

The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of State enforce the two years home residence requirement vigorously. Once an exchange visitor becomes subject to this two-year home residence requirement, the only way to remove the requirement is to either fulfill the requirement by returning home for two years, or obtain a waiver by applying to the Department of State for a waiver of 212(e) based on fear of persecution, hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or child (after a marriage to a U.S. citizen or the birth of a U.S. citizen child); sponsorship of an Interested Government Agency (IGA), or the issuance of a No-Objection Waiver letter from the exchange visitorís home country. 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

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