Waivers of the J-1 Residence Requirement

Please review the Two-Year Home-Residency page first in order to understand which J visa holders may become subject to this rule. It is important to note that J-1 visa holders are expected to complete their research, teaching or study objective within the time allowed on the J-1 visa. The two-year home-residency rule enforces this expectation. On occasion a student or scholar's objective changes during their time on the J visa and before they are able to change to another visa they must resolve the home residency issue. Most Exchange Visitors on the J visa who are subject to the return requirement according to the Skills List are able to apply for, and often be granted a waiver of the two-year home-residency requirement. As the first step in the waiver process it is critical that Yale affiliates inform an advisor in the OISS of their intent to apply for a waiver before taking action. If you receive a waiver you will not be able to extend your J-1 status and this may jeopardize your ability to remain at Yale. 

There are several different eligibility categories for a waiver.  If you are subject because of the Skills List you will most likely seek a waiver by applying for a “no objection” statement from your home country.

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Exchange Visitor Web site will guide you step by step through the No Objection waiver process. This waiver application is your personal application and OISS Advisors are not able to advise on application details. The following are the basic steps of a No Objection waiver based on being subject according to the Skills List:

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Speak to an OISS Advisor about your interest in changing from the J-1 visa to another visa category using the waiver. OISS will not be able to extend your J-1 status once you have received a waiver.

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Create your application account by logging on the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Exchange Visitor Web site.

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Submit all DS-2019 forms and other documentation into your Department of State application account.

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Contact your home government representative in Washington (or in some cases New York) to request that they begin to review your request for a “No Objection” statement.

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The home country issues the No Objection statement to the U.S. Department of State, and normally sends a copy to OISS.

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The Department of State approves your request by issuing a recommendation letter to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in Vermont.

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The final waiver, Form I-612 is mailed to you from USCIS Vermont and is required for any change of immigration status application such as moving to H-1B or U.S. Permanent Resident.