California J-1 Visa Waiver Lawyer
A J-1 visa status is an Exchange Visitor Visa that permits qualified foreigners to work or study in the United States after being sponsored through an approved private organization or governmental entity. Programs under the J-1 visa span different interests, such as studying at a U.S. university, being a professor or a scholar, or attending an American medical school, just to name a few.
Once the student completes the visa term, they must return to their native country no more than 30 days after expiration and remain there for no less than two years before reapplying for another exchange program. However, if the student marries individuals with certain statuses or their American employer requests them to stay longer, it is possible to be granted a J-1 Visa Waiver to remain in the United States for additional time.
At Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, our California J-1 visa waiver lawyers have experience assisting J-1 visa applicants in obtaining a waiver to remain in the U.S. while waiting for a change in status. We will provide a confidential and no-obligation case review to discuss the strategies for obtaining your J-1 Visa waiver. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your appointment today.
Can a California J-1 Visa Waiver Attorney Help Me Remain in the U.S. After My Visa Expires?
Having a California J-1 visa attorney can help you navigate the process of staying in the U.S. beyond the termination date of your J-1 visa. Usually, visa holders determine that they must stay because of a marriage to a U.S. citizen or because their employer has requested they remain in the U.S.
These unique situations require a waiver of statutory requirements that can be requested with the guidance of an attorney. The J-1 visa waiver will forego the required two-year stay in an applicant’s native country before receiving a change in visa status.
It is important to understand that a waiver request does not guarantee it will be granted. The process requires a selection of 1 of 5 options to be reviewed by the Department of State. To complicate matters, in some cases, J-1 visa holders are expected to declare to return to their home country before coming to the U.S. as part of the interviewing process.
Because of the potential for complications that can derail your intended plans, it can be beneficial to work with experienced immigration law attorneys who can assist you with deciding the best course of action to take. Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law can also help you with the process of submitting your waiver request and other needed documentation. Our primary goal is always to help our clients succeed in the goals they have set for themselves while staying here in America.
What Is Required to Be Eligible for a J-1 Visa Waiver?
The J-1 visa waiver eliminates the requirement to return to the applicant’s native country for two years before reapplying for another visa. Only those with visas that are part of one of the programs listed by the Government Exchange Program can seek a J-1 visa waiver. Additionally, applicants cannot list multiple options to have their application evaluated.
Working with a J-1 visa waiver lawyer can help an applicant navigate this process. Applicants must choose one of these five options:
No Objection Statement
The applicant’s native country must provide a Statement Of No Objection through their U.S.-based embassy in Washington, D.C. It must clearly state that the applicant’s native country has no objection to the possibility of the applicant becoming a lawful permanent resident in the U.S.
Request by a U.S. Federal Government Agency
This uniquely applies to those working for a federal agency in the U.S. government. The governmental agency must declare that the applicant’s departure would harm its operations.
Persecution in Native Country
A persecution waiver can be applied to foreigners facing racial, religious, or political persecution. A different form called Form I-612 would need to be submitted.
The Department of State will review the application under the recommendation that there is evidence of persecution. If evidence is found, a waiver will be granted.
If an applicant receives a denial under the option of persecution, they may request reconsideration if they qualify under any remaining options.
Proven Exceptional Hardship
The departure of a J-1 visa holder can cause exceptional hardship to their remaining family members who are citizens or legal residents in the U.S. As with the previous example, applicants must submit Form I-612.
If evidence is found, a waiver will be granted. Hardship introduced by separation alone does not apply.
Conrad State 30 Program
Workers can receive a waiver based on the Conrad State 30 Program. Participants receive a J-1 visa to complete medical school in exchange for working three years in a medical facility with a shortage.
Applicants must be employed for 40 hours per week and no less than three years, throughout which their employers will serve as their sponsors. Medical facilities can only submit 30 applications annually.
What to Do When Your Waiver Is Denied
If a J-1 visa waiver is denied, it cannot be reevaluated under the submitted option.
Applicants are informed that they can reapply under another option, though they must pay processing fees again. Note that there is no policy to file an appeal of the decision.
Waiver applications are denied when the reasons listed do not outweigh foreign policy considerations. Exchange visitor programs usually involve government funds, meaning granting waivers is often reserved only for extraordinary circumstances.
Working with a J-1 visa waiver attorney is important to help you resubmit your application and address anything missing when submitting the first application.
Can My Family Stay if My Waiver Is Granted?
A J-1 visa holder may have a spouse or child that must accompany them to the U.S. If a J-1 visa holder has a spouse or unmarried children under 21, those family members can accompany the J-1 visa holder to the United States once each dependent receives a J-2 visa status.
Fortunately, if a J-1 visa holder is granted a waiver, the waiver will also apply to their spouse and any unmarried children under 21.
Does My Family Need More Than One Application?
If the spouse of a J-1 visa holder chooses to remain in the U.S. after the termination of their visa, they must also apply for a J-2 visa waiver alongside the J-1 holder. Children of the J-1 visa holder are not required to apply for a waiver.
It is important to note that if the J-1 visa holder is not opting for a J-1 visa waiver, their dependent child or spouse cannot submit a waiver without them.
There are some exceptions where a J-2 visa holder can apply for a waiver without the J-1 visa holder:
- If the J-1 spouse dies, the J-2 spouse can apply for a waiver.
- If the J-1 and J-2 divorce, the J-2 spouse can apply for a waiver.
- If the child of a J-1 visa holder turns 21, they can apply for a waiver.
If the applicant for a waiver meets one of these conditions, the USCIS will review them on a case-by-case basis after the person submits supporting documentation. Working with a California J-1 visa waiver lawyer can help you navigate this process to complete a waiver application for a J-2 visa holder.
Work With California J-1 Visa Waiver Attorneys
The term of a J-1 visa can approach its end quickly, especially for those visa holders needing to remain longer in the U.S. Seeking a J-1 visa waiver will quickly become a top priority.
Work with Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law to help you go through the process of attaining a J-1 visa waiver. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online for a no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local office.