For the frequently asked questions and its answers on a particular Student Visa type, please see the relevant information below:

Q1. I want to apply in a school in United States to study. Can I apply in any school?
A. No, The school must be a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school.

Q2. I am on an F1 visa. What are the requirements if I want to renter the U.S. after travelling abroad for a personal matter?
A. You will require a SEVIS   (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Form I-20 which is endorsed for travel and signed by DSO; you have been out of the U.S. for less than 5 months; a current passport valid for  at least six months after the date of your reentry or, if you are from one of the countries that have an agreement with the U.S. allowing entry with a passport until the date of expiration; a valid, current visa or you traveled to contiguous country or adjacent island for less than 30 days; and financial information showing proof of necessity funds to cover tuition and living expenses. Carry your most recent I-94, if reentering through a land POE. Note: if you are from a Visa exempt country, you do not need a passport or visa to renter the U.S. from the Western Hemisphere.

Q3. I am on F1 visa. Can I renter if I have an expired passport or one that will expire in less than 6 months?
A. You must renew your passport before entering the U.S. In most cases, to enter U.S. you must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date you enter or renter. However, if you belong to the country that has an agreement with the U.S. that allows you to enter on a current passport up to the actual date of expiration, you should be fine to renter.

Q4. I am in U.S. on F1. My F1 student visa has expired and has a terminated record?
A. You can stay in the U.S. on an expired F1 visa as long as you maintain your student status. However, if you are returning home or traveling to a county where automatic revalidation does not apply, you must have a valid visa to enter to return to the U.S. You should ensure that you have all the documentation you need for visa application including a SEVIS Form I-20 endorsed for travel and signed by DSO, original evidence showing proof of necessity funds to cover tuition and living expenses, evidence showing your intention to return to your home country upon program completion. If you have applied for OPT or had OPT approved, carry a copy of your Form I-20 endorsed for OPT and your EAD card if one has been issued. You can apply in a third country for a visa, but will not be able to return to U.S. until visa has been issued.
If your visa has expired and has a terminated record, do not travel outside the U.S. until your SEVIS record shows that you are in active status. If you travel, you may not be able to renew your visa or return to the U.S.

Q5. As a continuing F1 student, will I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if I travel outside the U.S.?
A. No

Q6. I wish to travel to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands (other than Cuba) adjacent to the United States. Can I return if my visa is expired?
A. Yes, in most cases. You can usually revalidate an expired visa automatically when returning from a visit of less than 30 days provided you have a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94 (this process is called automatic visa revalidation).

Q7. What is automatic visa revalidation? When I am not eligible for automatic visa revalidation?
A. One can usually revalidate an expired visa automatically when returning from a visit of less than 30 days Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands (other than Cuba) adjacent to the United States provided one has a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94. This process is called automatic visa revalidation. Note: This process revalidates your visa (making it eligible for the single trip) but does not renew it.
You will not be eligible for automatic visa revalidation if: you applied for a new visa and it has not been issued; you applied for a new visa and were denied; you have a terminated SEVIS record indicating that you are out of status; you have been out of the U.S. for more than 30 days; and you are a citizen of Cuba/Iran/North Korea/Sudan and Syria.

Q8. Which islands are considered as “adjacent islands?”
A. Saint Piere, Miquelon, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, The Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, Other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering the Caribbean sea.

Q9. Do I need a valid visa to visit Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?
A. No. You will need a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94. Be sure that you do not have a terminated SEVIS record showing that you are out of status.

Q10. I want to travel outside U.S., but my SEVIS record has been terminated. Can I return if I travel?
A. Visit your DSO if you need to travel on a terminated record. If DSO has requested a data fix, DSO will put your help desk number on your Form I-20 and report your pending travel to SEVP. Note: there is no guarantee that you will be readmitted. In most cases, Port of Entry (POE) will allow you to renter if you are otherwise admissible and your DSO has properly annotated your Form I-20. It is likely, however, you will be sent for a secondary inspection for CBP to determine your eligibility to return.

Q11. I am on F1 visa. Can I travel outside U.S. if I have an adjustment of status (Form I-485) pending?
A. You may be considered ineligible to return to the U.S. as an F1 student, because you have exhibited an intent to immigrate which is inconsistent with your non-immigrant status.

Q12. Can I re-establish F1 student status by obtaining a new initial I-20 and reentering the U.S.?
A. Yes. However, you will be considered an initial student for SEVIS purposes. You will have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and any time you have accrued towards qualification for training or employment is lost. You must have the new SEVIS I-20 showing that you are entering on a new SEVIS ID number. You should be aware that CBP will determine whether or not to admit you with the new SEVIS I-20. If you did not comply with the terms of your status during a prior stay in U.S., they may decide that you are not eligible to reenter.

Q13. I am on F1. Can I renter during the 60 day grace period after finishing my program or after finishing OPT?
A. No

Q14. I am on F1. Can I renter if my request for OPT is pending?
A. Yes, you may renter to search for employment.

Q15. I am on F1. Can I renter if I left while on OPT?
A. If your OPT has been approved and you depart before you got a job, your OPT ends and you cannot renter unless you have a written job offer. If you have a job, you may travel and reenter to resume work at the same job or you have a written offer for another job.

Q16. Can I renew my F1 visa while in United States?
A. No

Q17. Can I renew my F1 visa while outside United States in a country other than my home country?
A. Yes, but the Department of State (DOS) recommends that you apply at your home country. If you exit U.S. and apply for a visa you cannot return until DOS issues a new visa. If DOS denies your application, you will not be able to return as a student.

Q18. Can I go to Canada and Mexico and apply for a new visa?
A. In some cases you can. If you exit U.S. and apply for a visa you cannot return until DOS issues a new visa. If DOS denies your application, you will not be able to return as a student. Note that applying for a new visa is not the same as automatic visa revalidation.

Q19. I am on F1. My spouse and children are on F2. What documents do they need for admission to U.S. after traveling abroad?
A. Dependents of a continuing F1 student, previously admitted into U.S. in F2 status should have a current Form I-20 in their names that certifies admissibility (i.e. DSO signature on page 3 approving travel). Note each dependent must have an individual Form I-20. Besides, a valid visa unless you are from Canada or Bermuda, the primary (F1) must be in active status, and Form I-94 arrival/departure card.

Q20. I am on F1 visa. Do my dependents have to travel with me?
A. No. However, you must be maintaining status. If you are in U.S. and has a request for OPT pending or approved, they will need additional documentation – copy of your Form I-20 with the page 3 annotations and/or EAD card and present it at the POE.

Q21. I am on F1 status. What should I do to extend/change my status?
A. You may apply for an extension of stay in the United States by submitting an application for extension of stay using Form I-539 before the expiration date on your I-94 USCIS ELIS. Note: Students should contact their DSO official to extend the status.

Q22. When is M-1 visa issued?
A. M-1 visa is issued for vocational students wishing to pursue non-academic or vocational studies in a community college or junior college that provides vocational or technical training and awards associate degrees; a vocational high school; a trade school or a school of nonacademic training other than language training.

Q1. Where do I apply for an Exchange Visitor J-1 visa?
A. Once you obtain a Form DS-2019 from a Sponsor, you may apply for an exchange visitor J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence.  Also, if you are married, your spouse and any children can apply for an exchange visitor (J-2) visa when you apply, or join you after you are in the United States if the exchange category in which you are participating permits an accompanying spouse and/or dependents (i.e. regulations prohibit an accompanying spouse in the categories of Camp Counselor, Summer Work Travel, Au pair and Secondary School Student).   In some cases an individual sponsor’s program will not permit a spouse or dependents to accompany their participants.  If you are married and/or have dependents who you wish to bring to the United States with you, inquire about this issue when seeking a sponsor.

Q2. What is the purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program?
A. It fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of the program in order to share their exchange experiences.

Q3. Can I apply for a J1 visa extension?
A. Yes. Your program sponsor may extend your program up to its maximum length. If an extension is granted, a new Form DS-2019 will be issued to you reflecting the change.

Q4. I got my J1 visa stamped. When can I come to the U.S? How long can I stay after the program ends?
A. You may not arrive 30 days before the program start date shown on DS-2019. You have 30 days grace period to depart U.S. after the end of the program.

Q5. What will happen to my J1 status of my exchange program sponsor terminates the program?
A. If program is terminated for just cause, the sponsor will enter the information on SEVIS and you are expected to depart the U.S. immediately. You will not be entitled to the 30 days post completion grace period because you did not successfully complete the program.

Q6. What happens to the J1 visa if I withdraw from the exchange program?
A. You must immediately notify your program sponsor. The sponsor will enter the information on SEVIS and you are expected to depart the U.S. immediately. You will not be entitled to the 30 days post completion grace period because you did not successfully complete the program.

Q7. My J1 visa expired during the program. What should I do?
A. If your visa expired and you do not plan to travel outside U.S., you need not renew your visa.  If you travel you will need to obtain a new J-1 visa from home country to continue the program.

Q8. Can I participate in another program if my current exchange program ends?
A. The current J1 visa is applicable only for your current J1 exchange program ad under your current program sponsor. Upon completion you are expected to depart U.S. If you want to do the second J1 exchange program in a different category with a different program sponsor you must apply for a new visa for your new exchange program from the new J1 exchange sponsor in order to enter U.S. for the second program.

Q9. How can I work for another employer other than the program sponsor?
A. A J1 holder may only perform the activity listed on his or her Ds-2019 or as provided for in the regulations for the specific category for which entry was obtained and with the approval of the Sponsor’s Responsible officer.

Q10. Do I need a sponsor for getting a J1 visa?
A. Yes. The State Department (DOS) designates US government, academic and private sector entities to conduct educational and cultural exchange programs. To participate in Exchange Visitor program you must be sponsored by one of the designated sponsors of the DOS. Program sponsors are responsible for screening and selecting eligible foreign nationals for the program as well as supporting and monitoring exchange visitors during their stay in United States.

Q11. I am a J1 holder. Am I allowed to work?
A. A J1 holder is only allowed to perform the activity listed on his or her DS-2019 and as stated in the regulations for that category of exchange.

Q12. Can I apply for the waiver of the two year home residency requirement?
A. Yes. The five bases for recommendation of a waiver are:

  • No Objection Statement;
  • Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency;
  • Persecution;
  • Exceptional Hardship to a U.S. Citizen (or lawful permanent resident) Spouse or Child of an Exchange Visitor; and
  • Request by a Designated State Public Health Department or its Equivalent (Conrad State 30 Program).

You may only apply under one waiver basis.

Q13. Can I extend or transfer my J-1 status after I receive a waiver approval of the Two Year Home Residence Requirement?
A. No, you cannot extend or transfer J-1 status after you have obtained the waiver approval from the State Department, however, time remaining on your current DS-2019 may be utilized. You will need to change your visa status to another category.

Q14. Can I travel outside of the U.S. after I have received my waiver approval of the Two Year Home Residence Requirement?
A. Once you or your dependent(s) travel and re-enter the U.S., you or your dependent(s) will be subject to the Two Year Home Residence Requirement all over again.

Q15. When should I request for the No Objection Certificate (NOC) in the application process? What I cannot get the NOC?
A. You should request the No Objection Statement from your home country government once you have your waiver case number. You will receive your waiver case number when you complete the online application.
If your home country will not issue a No Objection Statement (NOC) on your behalf, then you may apply for a waiver recommendation under one of the other bases, if it applies to your situation. Otherwise, if none of the other waiver bases applies, you must fulfill the two-year home-country physical-presence requirement.

Q16. Can I apply simultaneously for waiver on persecution and exceptional hardship?
A. No. If you believe that you qualify for a waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement under both persecution and exceptional hardship to your U.S. citizen (or legal permanent resident) spouse or child, you may apply for a waiver recommendation under only one of these two bases.

Q17. I am a physician and want to work in a medically underserved area. On which basis should I apply for the waiver? How does U.S. Federal agency waiver differ from Conrad State 30 program?
A. You could apply for a waiver of two-year home-country physical presence requirement through the request of an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency or through the request of a designated State Public Health Department or its equivalent, also known as the Conrad State 30 Program. You may apply using only one waiver basis, and it must apply to your situation.
A U.S. federal government agency may request Interested Government Agency waivers on behalf of foreign physicians to practice in health professional shortage areas or medically underserved areas; and each designated State Public Health Department, or its equivalent, may make only 30 such waiver requests per year.

Q18. My waiver recommendation application was denied. Can I appeal?
A. No. Waiver recommendation applications are thoroughly considered, and the Waiver Review Division does not have a policy to reconsider applications once a final determination has been made.  You may, however, reapply using another basis for waiver, if another basis applies to your situation.

Q19. I am the spouse of a J1 holder and am in U.S. on J2? Am I subject to home residency requirement?
A. Yes. A J-2 spouse or child is subject to the same requirements as a J-1 exchange visitor if J1 holder is subject to such requirement.

Q20. I am on J1. My spouse and child is on J2? Do they have to apply for the waiver of home residency requirement separately?
A. No. They are automatically included in waiver recommendation application. However, J1 holder needs to list them when completing the application for waiver recommendation.

Q21. My spouse is on J1 and does not want to apply for the waiver of home residency requirement? Being on J2 can my child and I apply for the waiver?
A. With a few exceptions (when the J-1 spouse dies or divorces or when a J-2 child reaches age 21), J-2 spouses and children cannot independently apply for waiver recommendations when their J-1 spouses or parents are not applying.

Q22. I was a J1 exchange visor and subject to the home residency requirement. I can I serve the two years in U.S. or a third country?
A. Generally, the country which was your country of legal permanent residence when you received your J-1 status is the country to which you must return to fulfill the two-year home-country physical presence requirement. The period of time you spend in the U.S. or a third country after your exchange visitor program has ended may count toward fulfillment of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, if you are employed by your home country’s government, in its military service, or in its career foreign service and you are serving in a country other than your home country at the behest of your home country’s government. You have to provide a written statement from an official of your home government (through the home country’s embassy in Washington, DC) that you were or will be serving in the U.S. or a third country in the service of your home country and at that government’s request.

Q1. I want to apply in a school in United States to study. Can I apply in any school?
A. No, The school must be a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school.

Q2. I am on an F1 visa. What are the requirements if I want to renter the U.S. after travelling abroad for a personal matter?
A. You will require a SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Form I-20 which is endorsed for travel and signed by DSO; you have been out of the U.S. for less than 5 months; a current passport valid for at least six months after the date of your reentry or, if you are from one of the countries that have an agreement with the U.S. allowing entry with a passport until the date of expiration; a valid, current visa or you traveled to contiguous country or adjacent island for less than 30 days; and financial information showing proof of necessity funds to cover tuition and living expenses. Carry your most recent I-94, if reentering through a land POE. Note: if you are from a Visa exempt country, you do not need a passport or visa to renter the U.S. from the Western Hemisphere.

Q3. I am on F1 visa. Can I renter if I have an expired passport or one that will expire in less than 6 months?
A. You must renew your passport before entering the U.S. In most cases, to enter U.S. you must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date you enter or renter. However, if you belong to the country that has an agreement with the U.S. that allows you to enter on a current passport up to the actual date of expiration, you should be fine to renter.

Q4. I am in U.S. on F1. My F1 student visa has expired and has a terminated record?
A. You can stay in the U.S. on an expired F1 visa as long as you maintain your student status. However, if you are returning home or traveling to a county where automatic revalidation does not apply, you must have a valid visa to enter to return to the U.S. You should ensure that you have all the documentation you need for visa application including a SEVIS Form I-20 endorsed for travel and signed by DSO, original evidence showing proof of necessity funds to cover tuition and living expenses, evidence showing your intention to return to your home country upon program completion. If you have applied for OPT or had OPT approved, carry a copy of your Form I-20 endorsed for OPT and your EAD card if one has been issued. You can apply in a third country for a visa, but will not be able to return to U.S. until visa has been issued.
If your visa has expired and has a terminated record, do not travel outside the U.S. until your SEVIS record shows that you are in active status. If you travel, you may not be able to renew your visa or return to the U.S.

Q5. As a continuing F1 student, will I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if I travel outside the U.S.?
A. No

Q6. I wish to travel to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands (other than Cuba) adjacent to the United States. Can I return if my visa is expired?
A. Yes, in most cases. You can usually revalidate an expired visa automatically when returning from a visit of less than 30 days provided you have a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94 (this process is called automatic visa revalidation).

Q7. What is automatic visa revalidation? When I am not eligible for automatic visa revalidation?
A. One can usually revalidate an expired visa automatically when returning from a visit of less than 30 days Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands (other than Cuba) adjacent to the United States provided one has a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94. This process is called automatic visa revalidation. Note: This process revalidates your visa (making it eligible for the single trip) but does not renew it.
You will not be eligible for automatic visa revalidation if: you applied for a new visa and it has not been issued; you applied for a new visa and were denied; you have a terminated SEVIS record indicating that you are out of status; you have been out of the U.S. for more than 30 days; and you are a citizen of Cuba/Iran/North Korea/Sudan and Syria.

Q8. Which islands are considered as “adjacent islands?”
A. Saint Piere, Miquelon, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, The Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, Other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering the Caribbean sea.

Q9. Do I need a valid visa to visit Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?
A. No. You will need a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94. Be sure that you do not have a terminated SEVIS record showing that you are out of status.

Q10. I want to travel outside U.S., but my SEVIS record has been terminated. Can I return if I travel?
A. Visit your DSO if you need to travel on a terminated record. If DSO has requested a data fix, DSO will put your help desk number on your Form I-20 and report your pending travel to SEVP. Note: there is no guarantee that you will be readmitted. In most cases, Port of Entry (POE) will allow you to renter if you are otherwise admissible and your DSO has properly annotated your Form I-20. It is likely, however, you will be sent for a secondary inspection for CBP to determine your eligibility to return.

Q11. I am on F1 visa. Can I travel outside U.S. if I have an adjustment of status (Form I-485) pending?
A. You may be considered ineligible to return to the U.S. as an F1 student, because you have exhibited an intent to immigrate which is inconsistent with your non-immigrant status.

Q12. Can I re-establish F1 student status by obtaining a new initial I-20 and reentering the U.S.?
A. Yes. However, you will be considered an initial student for SEVIS purposes. You will have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and any time you have accrued towards qualification for training or employment is lost. You must have the new SEVIS I-20 showing that you are entering on a new SEVIS ID number. You should be aware that CBP will determine whether or not to admit you with the new SEVIS I-20. If you did not comply with the terms of your status during a prior stay in U.S., they may decide that you are not eligible to reenter.

Q13. I am on F1. Can I renter during the 60 day grace period after finishing my program or after finishing OPT?
A. No

Q14. I am on F1. Can I renter if my request for OPT is pending?
A. Yes, you may renter to search for employment.

Q15. I am on F1. Can I renter if I left while on OPT?
A. If your OPT has been approved and you depart before you got a job, your OPT ends and you cannot renter unless you have a written job offer. If you have a job, you may travel and reenter to resume work at the same job or you have a written offer for another job.

Q16. Can I renew my F1 visa while in United States?
A. No

Q17. Can I renew my F1 visa while outside United States in a country other than my home country?
A. Yes, but the Department of State (DOS) recommends that you apply at your home country. If you exit U.S. and apply for a visa you cannot return until DOS issues a new visa. If DOS denies your application, you will not be able to return as a student.

Q18. Can I go to Canada and Mexico and apply for a new visa?
A. In some cases you can. If you exit U.S. and apply for a visa you cannot return until DOS issues a new visa. If DOS denies your application, you will not be able to return as a student. Note that applying for a new visa is not the same as automatic visa revalidation.

Q19. I am on F1. My spouse and children are on F2. What documents do they need for admission to U.S. after traveling abroad?
A. Dependents of a continuing F1 student, previously admitted into U.S. in F2 status should have a current Form I-20 in their names that certifies admissibility (i.e. DSO signature on page 3 approving travel). Note each dependent must have an individual Form I-20. Besides, a valid visa unless you are from Canada or Bermuda, the primary (F1) must be in active status, and Form I-94 arrival/departure card.

Q20. I am on F1 visa. Do my dependents have to travel with me?
A. No. However, you must be maintaining status. If you are in U.S. and has a request for OPT pending or approved, they will need additional documentation – copy of your Form I-20 with the page 3 annotations and/or EAD card and present it at the POE.

Q21. I am on F1 status. What should I do to extend/change my status?
A. You may apply for an extension of stay in the United States by submitting an application for extension of stay using Form I-539 before the expiration date on your I-94 USCIS ELIS. Note: Students should contact their DSO official to extend the status.

Q22. When is M-1 visa issued?
A. M-1 visa is issued for vocational students wishing to pursue non-academic or vocational studies in a community college or junior college that provides vocational or technical training and awards associate degrees; a vocational high school; a trade school or a school of nonacademic training other than language training.

Q1. Where do I apply for an Exchange Visitor J-1 visa?
A. Once you obtain a Form DS-2019 from a Sponsor, you may apply for an exchange visitor J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence. Also, if you are married, your spouse and any children can apply for an exchange visitor (J-2) visa when you apply, or join you after you are in the United States if the exchange category in which you are participating permits an accompanying spouse and/or dependents (i.e. regulations prohibit an accompanying spouse in the categories of Camp Counselor, Summer Work Travel, Au pair and Secondary School Student). In some cases an individual sponsor’s program will not permit a spouse or dependents to accompany their participants. If you are married and/or have dependents who you wish to bring to the United States with you, inquire about this issue when seeking a sponsor.

Q2. What is the purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program?
A. It fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of the program in order to share their exchange experiences.

Q3. Can I apply for a J1 visa extension?
A. Yes. Your program sponsor may extend your program up to its maximum length. If an extension is granted, a new Form DS-2019 will be issued to you reflecting the change.

Q4. I got my J1 visa stamped. When can I come to the U.S? How long can I stay after the program ends?
A. You may not arrive 30 days before the program start date shown on DS-2019. You have 30 days grace period to depart U.S. after the end of the program.

Q5. What will happen to my J1 status of my exchange program sponsor terminates the program?
A. If program is terminated for just cause, the sponsor will enter the information on SEVIS and you are expected to depart the U.S. immediately. You will not be entitled to the 30 days post completion grace period because you did not successfully complete the program.

Q6. What happens to the J1 visa if I withdraw from the exchange program?
A. You must immediately notify your program sponsor. The sponsor will enter the information on SEVIS and you are expected to depart the U.S. immediately. You will not be entitled to the 30 days post completion grace period because you did not successfully complete the program.

Q7. My J1 visa expired during the program. What should I do?
A. If your visa expired and you do not plan to travel outside U.S., you need not renew your visa. If you travel you will need to obtain a new J-1 visa from home country to continue the program.

Q8. Can I participate in another program if my current exchange program ends?
A. The current J1 visa is applicable only for your current J1 exchange program ad under your current program sponsor. Upon completion you are expected to depart U.S. If you want to do the second J1 exchange program in a different category with a different program sponsor you must apply for a new visa for your new exchange program from the new J1 exchange sponsor in order to enter U.S. for the second program.

Q9. How can I work for another employer other than the program sponsor?
A. A J1 holder may only perform the activity listed on his or her Ds-2019 or as provided for in the regulations for the specific category for which entry was obtained and with the approval of the Sponsor’s Responsible officer.

Q10. Do I need a sponsor for getting a J1 visa?
A. Yes. The State Department (DOS) designates US government, academic and private sector entities to conduct educational and cultural exchange programs. To participate in Exchange Visitor program you must be sponsored by one of the designated sponsors of the DOS. Program sponsors are responsible for screening and selecting eligible foreign nationals for the program as well as supporting and monitoring exchange visitors during their stay in United States.

Q11. I am a J1 holder. Am I allowed to work?
A. A J1 holder is only allowed to perform the activity listed on his or her DS-2019 and as stated in the regulations for that category of exchange.

Q12. Can I apply for the waiver of the two year home residency requirement?
A. Yes. The five bases for recommendation of a waiver are:

  • No Objection Statement;
  • Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency;
  • Persecution;
  • Exceptional Hardship to a U.S. Citizen (or lawful permanent resident) Spouse or Child of an Exchange Visitor; and
  • Request by a Designated State Public Health Department or its Equivalent (Conrad State 30 Program).

You may only apply under one waiver basis.

Q13. Can I extend or transfer my J-1 status after I receive a waiver approval of the Two Year Home Residence Requirement?
A. No, you cannot extend or transfer J-1 status after you have obtained the waiver approval from the State Department, however, time remaining on your current DS-2019 may be utilized. You will need to change your visa status to another category.

Q14. Can I travel outside of the U.S. after I have received my waiver approval of the Two Year Home Residence Requirement?
A. Once you or your dependent(s) travel and re-enter the U.S., you or your dependent(s) will be subject to the Two Year Home Residence Requirement all over again.

Q15. When should I request for the No Objection Certificate (NOC) in the application process? What I cannot get the NOC?
A. You should request the No Objection Statement from your home country government once you have your waiver case number. You will receive your waiver case number when you complete the online application.
If your home country will not issue a No Objection Statement (NOC) on your behalf, then you may apply for a waiver recommendation under one of the other bases, if it applies to your situation. Otherwise, if none of the other waiver bases applies, you must fulfill the two-year home-country physical-presence requirement.

Q16. Can I apply simultaneously for waiver on persecution and exceptional hardship?
A. No. If you believe that you qualify for a waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement under both persecution and exceptional hardship to your U.S. citizen (or legal permanent resident) spouse or child, you may apply for a waiver recommendation under only one of these two bases.

Q17. I am a physician and want to work in a medically underserved area. On which basis should I apply for the waiver? How does U.S. Federal agency waiver differ from Conrad State 30 program?
A. You could apply for a waiver of two-year home-country physical presence requirement through the request of an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency or through the request of a designated State Public Health Department or its equivalent, also known as the Conrad State 30 Program. You may apply using only one waiver basis, and it must apply to your situation.
A U.S. federal government agency may request Interested Government Agency waivers on behalf of foreign physicians to practice in health professional shortage areas or medically underserved areas; and each designated State Public Health Department, or its equivalent, may make only 30 such waiver requests per year.

Q18. My waiver recommendation application was denied. Can I appeal?
A. No. Waiver recommendation applications are thoroughly considered, and the Waiver Review Division does not have a policy to reconsider applications once a final determination has been made. You may, however, reapply using another basis for waiver, if another basis applies to your situation.

Q19. I am the spouse of a J1 holder and am in U.S. on J2? Am I subject to home residency requirement?
A. Yes. A J-2 spouse or child is subject to the same requirements as a J-1 exchange visitor if J1 holder is subject to such requirement.

Q20. I am on J1. My spouse and child is on J2? Do they have to apply for the waiver of home residency requirement separately?
A. No. They are automatically included in waiver recommendation application. However, J1 holder needs to list them when completing the application for waiver recommendation.

Q21. My spouse is on J1 and does not want to apply for the waiver of home residency requirement? Being on J2 can my child and I apply for the waiver?
A. With a few exceptions (when the J-1 spouse dies or divorces or when a J-2 child reaches age 21), J-2 spouses and children cannot independently apply for waiver recommendations when their J-1 spouses or parents are not applying.

Q22. I was a J1 exchange visor and subject to the home residency requirement. I can I serve the two years in U.S. or a third country?
A. Generally, the country which was your country of legal permanent residence when you received your J-1 status is the country to which you must return to fulfill the two-year home-country physical presence requirement. The period of time you spend in the U.S. or a third country after your exchange visitor program has ended may count toward fulfillment of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, if you are employed by your home country’s government, in its military service, or in its career foreign service and you are serving in a country other than your home country at the behest of your home country’s government. You have to provide a written statement from an official of your home government (through the home country’s embassy in Washington, DC) that you were or will be serving in the U.S. or a third country in the service of your home country and at that government’s request.

BACK TO

Student Visa

LET US HELP YOU

If you want to employ our legal services for your Immigration process, Hire Us.

For any other information, kindly Contact Us.

Close Menu