J-1 Visa Waivers: Exceptional Hardship P eople whose presence in the US is based on a J-1 visa are subject to a requirement that other visa holders are not subject to — the two-year home residency requirement. If you successfully convince USCIS that your family is likely to experience exceptional hardship, it will send a Form I-613 recommendation notice to the WRD. They are No Objection Statement, Request by a Designated State Public Health Department, Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency, Exceptional Hardship to a U.S. citizen or LPR, and Persecution. Therefore, if a J-1 visa holder has a spouse or child that is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the U.S., there is a higher chance that he or she will have the foreign residency requirement waived. Being apart from you or having to leave their life in the U.S. would be a hardship on your qualifying relatives, sure, but that’s not enough. Another way is to show evidence that the medical facilities in your home country are not adequate for the treatment of your spouse or child. The latter will spend three or five years in H-1B or another nonimmigrant status before he or she can apply for permanent residence. This article guides you through the waiver application process. You still need to get the WRD’s approval of the waiver. It’s at this point in the process that you present your case for exceptional hardship. A J-1 visa waiver is sought in order to bypass the rule that requires J-1 holders to be physically present in their home country for two years. No, exceptional hardship and persecution are two different things as far as the J-1 visa waiver is concerned. People from war-ravaged countries may be able to leverage this option. There are 5 bases under which a J-1 visa can be granted. The word “exceptional” here might create some confusion. If you don’t think you qualify for an exceptional hardship waiver based on the aforementioned criteria, there’s still hope. Their hardship must be “exceptional.”. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding the J-1 waiver for exceptional hardship. http://www.ranchodlaw.comCan you obtain a J1 exceptional hardship waiver based on hardship to a United States citizen child. USCIS sends the decision to the Waiver Review Division of the U.S. Department of State. You must prove to USCIS, by your written statement and any documents you have that support what you’re saying, that your spouse or child is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder) who would suffer “exceptional hardship” if you had to go back to your home country for two years or if they left the U.S. in order to stay there with you. Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Immigrants Seeking Visas, Asylum, and Green Cards, Life in the U.S. on an Exchange Visitor Visa. There is a range of hardship factors, which are best explained by our. While there is no definitive answer to the length of processing it may be substantial, often take upwards of a year or more for completion. To check the status of a pending application, visit the. establish that the applicant’s USC/LPR spouse or child would suffer exceptional hardship if he or she remained in the United States during the period the … This is a better alternative to getting your hardship waiver approved via an interested government agency (IGA) that serves as a sponsor. We are available to answer any questions pertaining to your case. Complete a Survey to help clarify whether you may be subject to 212(e) Go Directly to Advisory Opinion To skip the survey and go directly to the Advisory Opinion. Your best bet is to explain the likely hardships associated with both scenarios. If your U.S. spouse or child with different religious or cultural views relocates with you to a place where those views are not accepted, they may face hardship due to this. With that notice, you can proceed to file the adjustment of status or change of status application you need in order to stay in the United States and get a green card or a different type of nonimmigrant (temporary) status. However, this requirement can be waived if the home country presence will cause hardship for your spouse or child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Typical processing time can range anywhere from three to four months, depending on the case. We will, however, do our best to advance your case towards the most favorable outcome. This is not just a statement of the hardships involved. The first advantage of securing a hardship waiver is that it gives you the opportunity to settle down with your family and have peace of mind. That’s not the end of the story, however. The first step required to obtain an exceptional hardship waiver is to establish that the applicant’s USC/LPR spouse or child would experience exceptional hardship if he or she resided in the home country for two years with the ap The second step is to plicant. One of the most tenable reasons for getting a waiver is exceptional hardship that involves medical issues. What are the advantages of applying for an exceptional hardship waiver? We’ll process your case in a timely and efficient manner to ensure the most favorable outcome. The U.S. citizen spouse, also a physician, was in the process of completing a highly demanding, prestigious fellowship program. Is exceptional hardship the same thing as persecution? This includes the disorder that might arise with the child or the spouse if the J-1 visa holder leaves the U.S. Also, it might be the precipitation of the beginning of a disorder such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. You’ll enter information on a series of pages, and this will create the application form that the WRD needs. What are the disadvantages of hardship waivers? Mail the following items to one of the two addresses … The U.S. government wants J-1 visa holders to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of their home countries. Attorney Brian C. Schmitt has years of experience in private immigration law practice, particularly with J-1 hardship waiver and J-1 persecution waiver applications. If you think you might qualify for this waiver, you’ll need to get approval from both U.S. J1 Visa holders are generally subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement (foreign residence requirement). The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. 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. In order to apply for the J-1 waiver based on extreme hardship, the foreign exchange visitor must: Step 1: Mail your Waiver Applications and Fee Payments. One of the documents that the WRD will need before it makes a decision on your application is a favorable recommendation of the exceptional hardship waiver from USCIS. That’s why it’s best to have an expert working on your case from the beginning. That said, the following are some of the common exceptional hardship scenarios under which J-1 waiver is often granted: This includes life-threatening illnesses or conditions requiring regular care and/or medications not available in the person’s home country such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, AIDS, stroke, and down’s syndrome. No Objection Waiver–Based on a no objection statement from your home country. Complete an Online Application for a J-1 waiver recommendation. It also allows you to work in the U.S. As with the J-1 waiver application, Form I-612 is only needed if the basis for the waiver is fear of persecution or exceptional hardship (to the J-2 applicant, not the J-1 visa holder). Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Waiver Review Division (WRD) of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs before going forward with your green card or visa application. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. One of the documents that the WRD will need before it makes a decision on your application is a favorable recommendation of the exceptional hardship waiver from USCIS. – The Department of State issued a favorable recommendation with I-612 Letter of Approval on September 29, 2020. If you are unsure whether or not you apply under the exceptional hardship category, our immigration attorneys can provide additional clarification. Medical problems are often seen as creating exceptional hardship, whether it’s because you wouldn’t be in the U.S. to assist in the person’s care or in working to help pay or provide insurance for that care, or because treatment for the condition wouldn’t be adequate in your home country. There are three other types of waiver for the two-year home residency requirement provided under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Particularly if you were subject to the two-year home residency requirement because of your receipt of government funding, the WRD could still deny your waiver. be aware that while the exceptional hardship waiver technically only takes into account spouses and children, some consideration may be given to qualifying relatives or family members if they will face hardships. (a) Disposition of Improperly Filed Applications. Hardship waivers are applications to Immigration authorities (USCIS) that, if granted, will excuse certain bars of inadmissibility relevant for adjustment of status; or excuse a two year residency requirement for holders of certain J-1 visas. In this case, you can present proof showing that your absence from the U.S. would lead to the failure of the business and the failure can lead to exceptional hardship for the U.S. citizen. Or you can show that it will affect the source of income needed to pay the person’s medical bills or provide insurance for that medical care. Do that by applying on USCIS Form I-612. At the end, you’ll get a case number that you can use to check the progress of your case. J-1 Hardship Waiver Approval for Doctor from Jordan. All Rights Reserved. Wait to file your I-612 until you’ve applied with the WRD first—otherwise, the WRD won’t know what to do if USCIS sends its recommendation. Select Eligibility Information about J-1 exchange visitors are subject to the … J1 Waiver – Generally, J1 visa holders must return to their home country for at least 2 years after the J1 program ends. Our immigration lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the J-1 visa waiver exceptional hardship process. Our office has strategies in place to align your case with the most favorable outcome. A hardship waiver is initially filed with the USCIS California Service Center (CSC). Moreover, you could show that your home country’s language is different from that of your spouse and show that this barrier would cause hardship for your U.S. citizen relative. that serves as a sponsor. This means the applicant would have to return to his/her country for two years once the J-1 visa has expired. J1 visa holders who can demonstrate that their departure for two years would cause “exceptional hardship” to their United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or child (“qualifying relatives”) may obtain a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement. The U.S. government wants J-1 visa holders to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of their home countries. There are 5 bases under which a J-1 visa can be granted. The J-1 visa holder has the option to submit the Department of State waiver application either before the holder submits the I-612 form to the USCIS or after USCIS has approved the decision. What are some factors that may qualify for exceptional hardship? You can contact us and book an appointment with one of our J-1 immigration lawyers today by filling out this consultation form. The disadvantage is that hardship waivers typically take longer to process than IGA waivers and if granted and a bridging work visa is required, such as an H-1B, the employer must be exempt from the H-1B cap and the J-1 physician must depart and apply for an H1B visa abroad and return. How does your law firm ensure a favorable outcome? As a J1 Visa holder you are subject to this requirement for one or more of the following reasons: 1. Persecution based on your risk of persecution for religion, political opinion or race. Exceptional Hardship. USCIS will forward that recommendation directly to the WRD, but first you need to ask … One Method for a J-1 Physician to obtain a waiver of the foreign residency requirement is to obtain a "hardship" waiver. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. The purpose of this requirement is for J-1 visa holders to use their newfound skills to assist people in their home countries. Begin by going to the J Visa Waiver Online website. A hardship waiver application, regardless of the type (I-601, I-601A, or J-1), is your opportunity to explain how your U.S. citizen or permanent resident family member would experience hardship if you were not able to reside in the United States. 45.3 Waiver Based on Exceptional Hardship to USC or LPR Spouse or Child. From there, the applicant will receive a copy of the decision. Your first step is to file an application with the WRD. During that period, we’ll be better able to lay out a timeline for processing. Interested Government Agency (IGA) Waivers. To receive a more tailored answer, contact one of our immigration lawyers for an initial consultation. J-1 Waiver requests based on Exceptional Hardship to a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident spouse or child or children originate with an USCIS J-1 Waiver filing. If you are a J-1 visa holder who cannot apply for a U.S. green card or other visa until you have satisfied the two-year home residency requirement (I.N.A. have an in-depth understanding of the J-1 visa waiver exceptional hardship process. As a J-1 holder, if you can prove that your spouse or child suffers from an illness that requires your presence for treatment, then you may be more likely to have the home country presence requirement waived. Submit form I-612 with $585filing fee to the USCIS. During the course of the litigation, one of the J-1 physicians sought and obtained a Conrad 30 waiver. No, exceptional hardship and persecution are two different things as far as the J-1 visa waiver is concerned. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Representing approximately 6% of all waivers granted to physicians holding J-1 visas, the 'hardship' waiver requires a persuasive showing that either an American citizen/permanent resident spouse or child will suffer exceptional hardship should the J-1 visa holder be required to return home to fulfill the two-year home residency requirement. If you can prove that your qualifying spouse or child may face exceptional hardship if they relocate with you to your home country, you may be able to qualify for a waiver. The latter will spend three or five years in H-1B or another nonimmigrant status before he or she can apply for permanent residence. However, this requirement can be waived if the home country presence will cause hardship for your spouse or child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. If you have any doubts, it is best to speak with an immigration attorney. The first advantage of securing a hardship waiver is that it gives you the opportunity to settle down with your family and have peace of mind. Outside of medical reasons, hardship might also be economic, political, religious, psychological, cultural, or due to compulsory military service. They are. If the USCIS finds that the J-1 holder qualifies under exceptional hardship, then the Waiver Review Division will commence the recommendation process under this category. , Request by a Designated State Public Health Department, Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency, Exceptional Hardship to a U.S. citizen or LPR, and Persecution. For example, there might be a family business in the U.S. that would fail if you are not in the U.S., or your dependent family members might not be able to pursue their profession or obtain special-needs education if they were to follow you home. USCIS will forward its decision directly to the Waiver Review Division of the U.S. Department of State. This means the applicant would have to return to his/her country for two years once the J-1 visa has expired. Unfortunately, you can’t complete the whole application process online. If you are having doubts about whether your case is best described as exceptional hardship or persecution, an immigration lawyer can help you out. This article will describe an example of a successful J-1 waiver case based on exceptional hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse and child handled by our office. You can provide proof showing that your absence in the U.S. will make you unable to provide needed care for your U.S. citizen spouse or child. Show as many different types of hardship as you can. J-1 holders with a child or spouse that has a mental or physical condition may be able to prove exceptional hardship if the treatments are not accessible in the J-1 holders home country. Unless an I-612 has been submitted to support a waiver application based upon exceptional hardship or persecution claims, it should be rejected with appropriate instructions to the applicant. To check the status of a pending application, visit the J-1 visa waiver page on the DOS site. Fear of Persecution and Exceptional Hardship. USCIS will forward that recommendation directly to the WRD, but first you need to ask USCIS for it. Here at our firm, we have an excellent track record of helping exchange visitors apply for and get their J-1 visa approved. j1 hardship waiver . Though, if the J-1 visa holder submits the Department of State waiver application before the I-612 form to the USCIS, and exceptional hardship was not granted, the fee will not be refunded by the U.S. Department of State. Each basis has its own qualifying scenarios, and you cannot apply for two at a time. A brief description of the I-612 process and . Date we filed Form I-612 for this Client: April 1, 2019. If you are unsure whether or not you apply under the exceptional hardship category, our immigration attorneys can provide additional clarification. The J-1 holder must be able to provide evidence or proof of hardship. DOS estimates that they make favorable recommendations on such J-1 Waiver applications slightly less than 50% of the time. The processing of J-1 waiver applications varies depending on the nature of the case. © 2021 SGM Law Group. J-1 visa holders are subjected to the Foreign Residency Requirement. Typical processing time can range anywhere from three to four months, depending on the case. – Department of State received Form I-612 from USCIS on December 09, 2019. The Department of Homeland Security must approve your Waiver before you can change status in the United States or receive a visa in certain categories. It also allows you to work in the U.S. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. Hardships can also be psychological, social, cultural, economic, educational, career-related, political, religious, or due to compulsory military service. If the WRD recommends approval, it will send the I-613 back to USCIS indicating its approval. In September, 2009, Jen came to the U.S. from China as a visiting scholar under J-1 visa. In short, a hardship waiver is one which demonstrates extreme hardship conditions that would be endured should a foreigner be required to adhere to the two-year physical presence requirement. The importance of gathering evidence to back up your hardship claim cannot be overstated because you must make your waiver applications as persuasive as possible. The DOS Waiver Review Division will evaluate all waiver application before making recommendations to the USCIS. Moreover, provided there is a qualifying familial relationship, or there is evidence that an employer is willing to sponsor you, you may immediately start your, This is a better alternative to getting your hardship waiver approved via an. After reviewing the file in its entirety, the Waiver Review Division will inform the USCIS of its final recommendations. This case began with our client, a physician on a J-1 visa, with a naturalized U.S. citizen spouse and one young child. USCIS will then issue you an approval notice on Form I-797. This may be easier if you can prove that your absence will cause exceptional hardship to the spouse or the child. This means that after completion of the period covered by your J1 Visa you have to go back to your home country for two years prior to changing status in the United States or obtaining your lawful permanent residence (greencard). This refers to a situation that may affect the financial wellbeing of your qualifying U.S. citizen or LPR relative. on the DOS site. Our office often gets questions regarding J-1 visas, their waivers, and the best way for them to be approached for a favorable outcome. For J-1 waivers based on hardship, to us one of the most important parts of a J waiver hardship application is the hardship affidavit. Advantages and Disadvantages of the J1 Hardship Waiver Give one of our attorneys a call to explore your options. You’ll have to print this Form I-612 out after you complete it, and mail it to the address on the website, along with the USCIS filing fee, ($930 as of early 2020). J-1 Visa holders are required to return home for at least two years after the exchange visitor program. J-1 visa holders seeking a hardship waiver must prepare and submit the I-612 hardship application, supporting documents, fee, and State Department case number to the appropriate U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Service Center. Economic or extreme psychological hardship, Social, Cultural, and Educational Hardship, The applicant is required to submit an Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement. The time it takes for approval of a J-1 exceptional hardship waiver is not fixed, it might take months, a year, or more to process as the case may be. § 212(e)), one possible way of getting a waiver of that requirement is to demonstrate that your departure from the U.S. would cause exceptional hardship to your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or child. Click the link to create an online application. As previously mentioned, the processing time can be quite discretionary, which means it’s not typically recommended to individuals with more than one application pending at a time. (The website will tell you what to send and where to send it all.). Because this may affect them psychologically, physically, socially, economically, this might lead to hardship for your relative. Each basis has its own qualifying scenarios, and you cannot apply for two at a time. The U.S. does not take the welfare of its citizens lightly. There is a range of hardship factors, which are best explained by our Fort Lauderdale immigration lawyers; however, a few of the most common factors include economic hardships, political, religious, medical, social, and psychological. If you cannot return home for two years, you must apply for exceptional hardship a Waivers. https://www.immi-usa.com/j1-visa-waiver/j1-visa-waiver-exceptional-hardship We are available to answer any questions pertaining to your case. Keep in mind that whether it’s for medical, financial, or other reasons, the most important thing about a J-1 visa waiver application is to have strong evidence. Hardship waivers are based on a showing of exceptional hardship, not merely a showing that conditions are more difficult in the individual's home country. Eligibility for a Waiver. If your home country is facing things such as war or terrorism, you can present this as a reason for the exceptional hardship waiver. If USCIS determines that Exceptional Hardship does exist, it forwards the J-1 Waiver file to DOS. Even if one type of hardship is not exceptional, a combination of smaller hardships could amount to something exceptional. Nevertheless, all applicants must secure a J-1 Waiver case number by filing a Data Sheet and a processing fee with the DOS. If you can prove that if you leave the U.S. for your home country, you might not be able to secure a job that will be able to provide for your spouse or child’s needs, they will likely approve your hardship waiver request. Of course, it’s impossible to guarantee one result or another since it’s at the mercy of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Immigration Service. Mail your Waiver Application and Fee Payment. Common factors taken into consideration which may constitute exceptional hardship include: As previously mentioned, hardship to one’s spouse is also taken into consideration. Some individuals might be able to obtain a J1 Waiver, which would eliminate the 2 year foreign residency requirement and allow them to remain in or return to the United States. He is a leading scholar on J-1 waivers, especially in the difficult area of program, policy, and foreign relations issues in J-1 waiver cases involving U.S. Government funding, such as Fulbright cases. For instance, if you already have a family business in the U.S. with which you support your U.S. citizen relative, this may also help. to the USCIS along with the designated fee. Fear of persecution … Some exceptional hardship examples include instances where the spouse’s education or career would be disrupted, a scenario where they couldn’t financially uphold 2 households, psychological hardships, etc. holders are subjected to the Foreign Residency Requirement. If you are having doubts about whether your case is best described as exceptional hardship or persecution, an immigration lawyer can help you out. Moreover, provided there is a qualifying familial relationship, or there is evidence that an employer is willing to sponsor you, you may immediately start your J-1 to green card application once your waiver request is granted. For instance, you are from a country where there is a religion or culture intolerance, this would make a strong case. Example of a_J-1 Exceptional Hardship Waiver case. However, the J-1 visa waiver’s exceptional hardship will not be granted for basic separation, readjustment, or any hardship caused to you. You will need to send the WRD a paper copy of your completed application form, a printout of the page with the bar code on it that was generated when you filled out the online form, a check or money order for the application processing fee ($120 as of 2020), and other documents in support of your application. APA suit seeking review of two DOS not favorable recommendations and a DHS denial of two I-612 hardships waiver applications for two J-1 medical doctors. ; however, a few of the most common factors include economic hardships, political, religious, medical, social, and psychological. From a country where there is a range of hardship as you.. An excellent track record of helping exchange visitors apply for two years once the visa... Where to send and where to send and where to send and where send... Economic hardships, political, religious, medical, social, and this will create the form... 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