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Leena Kamat
Leena Kamat,
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 91
Experience:  Managing Attorney at Kamat Law Corporation
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I am on j-1 visa, with 2 years rlues, I am on academic

Customer Question

I am on j-1 visa, with 2 years rlues
JA: What is your official status? Do you have any pending applications or petitions with USCIS?
Customer: I am on academic training program and got extension for 18 months, am seeking for waiver
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: not yet .. but I work in privet medical practice and I was asking for the possibility to change my visa status
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The area I work in is relatively underdeveloped but the practice is privet not federal ... can I get the wavier and change to H1 visa
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Leena Kamat replied 1 month ago.

There are five bases for obtaining a waiver which are described at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student/residency-waiver/eligibility.html I'm pasting them below for your reference. If any of them apply, then you can apply here: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student/residency-waiver/ds-3035-instructions.html

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Five Bases for Recommendation of a Waiver

1. No Objection Statement:

Your home country government may issue a No Objection Statement through its embassy in Washington, DC directly to the Waiver Review Division that it has no objection to you not returning to your home country to satisfy the two-year home-country physical presence requirement and no objection to the possibility of you becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The No Objection Statement may also be issued by a designated ministry in your home country’s government and sent to the U.S. Chief of Mission, Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy within that country. The U.S. Embassy would then forward it directly to the Waiver Review Division.

Important Notice: U.S. law does not permit foreign medical physicians who acquired exchange visitor (J-1) visa status on or after January 10, 1977, for the purpose of receiving graduate medical education or training to use this option. For more information about the relevant U.S. law, see References – U.S. Laws, number 1.

2. Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency:

If you are working on a project for or of interest to a U.S. federal government agency, and that agency has determined that your departure for two years to fulfill the two-year home-country physical presence requirement would be detrimental to its interest, that agency may request an Interested Government Agency Waiver on your behalf. The Interested Government Agency request must be signed by the head of the agency or his or her designee and submitted directly to the Waiver Review Division.

Any U.S. federal government agency may request a waiver under this basis. Review Designated Officials for Signatures for a listing of interested government agencies and names of their designated officials. (NOTE: This list does not contain information for all U.S. federal agencies. It only contains information from agencies that have provided the Department of State, Waiver Review Division with the names of individuals authorized to sign letters requesting waivers under this basis.)

Important Notice: For Interested Government Agency requests on behalf of foreign physicians who agree to serve in health professional shortage areas or medically underserved areas, please refer to Step 3 of the How to Apply Instructions. For more information about the relevant law, see References – U.S. Laws, number 3.

3. Persecution:

If you believe that you will be persecuted based on your race, religion, or political opinion if you return to your home country, you may apply for a persecution waiver. This waiver basis requires that you submit Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement, directly to USCIS. USCIS will forward its decision directly to the Department of State’s Waiver Review Division. The Waiver Review Division will proceed with the waiver recommendation under this basis only if USCIS makes a finding of persecution.

4. Exceptional Hardship to a U.S. citizen (or lawful permanent resident) spouse or child of an exchange visitor:

If you can demonstrate that your departure from the United States would cause exceptional hardship to your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or child, you may apply for an exceptional hardship waiver. Please note that mere separation from family is not considered to be sufficient to establish exceptional hardship. This waiver basis requires that you submit Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement, directly to USCIS. USCIS will forward its decision directly to the Department of State’s Waiver Review Division. The Waiver Review Division will proceed with the waiver recommendation under this basis only if USCIS makes a finding of exceptional hardship.

5. Request by a designated State Public Health Department or its equivalent (Conrad State 30 Program):

If you are a foreign medical graduate who obtained exchange visitor status to pursue graduate medical training or education, you may request a waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement based on the request of a designated State Public Health Department or its equivalent, if you meet all of the following criteria. This waiver category is also known as the Conrad State 30 Program. You must:

  • have an offer of full-time employment at a health care facility in a designated health care professional shortage area or at a health care facility which serves patients from such a designated area;
  • agree to begin employment at that facility within 90 days of receiving a waiver; and
  • sign a contract to continue working at that health care facility for a total of 40 hours per week and for not less than three years.

Review the listing of State Public Health Departments. Each department is allowed to request 30 such waivers per federal fiscal year. 10 of the 30 requests may be for exchange visitor physicians who will serve at facilities which may not be located within a designated health care professional shortage area but which serve patients who live within such a designated area. The state public health department will forward the Conrad State 30 Program request directly to the Waiver Review Division, if it agrees to sponsor you for such a waiver.

For information about the specific U.S. laws that created this waiver category, refer to References – U.S. Laws, numbers 4 and 5.

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