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Do I Have To Be Government Employee to File a U.S. Agency Requested J-1 Waiver?

Hi William:

I am a J-1 visa holder and want to obtain an “agency request“ J-1 waiver. Do I have to be employed in a U.S. government agency to file the agency request J-1 waiver? and what are the other J-1 waiver options?


If a U.S. government agency believe that the J- visa exchange visitor's departure would be detrimental to a program or activity of interest to the U.S. government agency, it may request a J-1 waiver on behalf of the alien visitor. The J-1 exchange visitor can be employed by either a private employer or a U.S. government agency. 

An J-1 visa holder object to the 2-year foreign residence requirement can file an J-1 waiver application on the following bases.

1) A J-1 waiver may be requested by a U.S. governmental agency on behalf of the J-1 visitor. It should be beneficial to the U.S. security interests, or to that of the public good.

2) A J-1 waiver may be obtained when the 2-year foreign residence requirement would result in exceptional hardship to the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or child.

3) If the J-1 visitor can show that he or she would be subject to persecution in the home country on the basis of race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership.

4) The J-1 visitor's home government issues a letter of “no objection “ to the exchange visitor's remaining in the United States. But a foreign medical graduates are not eligible for the “no objection“ J-1 waiver. 

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