Home Residency Requirement FAQs

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com

J-2 or J-1 with 212(e) HRR converting to F-1 student

Authored on: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 04:37

Question

I want to pursue MS Degree from US and presently I am living in the US on J-2 visa. My wife is working as a Post doctoral Fellow here on J-1 visa. We both are subject to two years Home Residency Requirement.
My concern is that how can I change my visa status from J-2 to F-1. Do I need to get a waiver before applying -F1 visa?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/ZvUVIGTM-Kk?t=520

FAQ Transcript: 

Answer is yes. They can't convert within the United States, but they can go outside of USA and try to get F-1 stamped and come back. That does not  get rid of  two year residency visa. However, remember two year residency visa requirement only says this:  if you have J-1 or a J-2  which is subject to the 212 (e) HRR, you cannot convert  to H, L or Green Card, but you can  if you want to change to F-1 visa but not within the United States as far as I remember. It does not allow the change of status also. So you can always get a visa stamping done and you can do it without the waiver, F-1 does not require waiver. However if down the line you decide to convert to H-1, your J-1 holding spouse either must have received the waiver or a home residency a fulfillment of 2 year residence abroad to the home country.

Can a J-2 holder get a HRR 212(e) waiver without J-1?

Authored on: Tue, 10/13/2015 - 01:53

Question

My wife is working here in the US on J-1 visa as a Post Doctoral Fellow and She is subject to 2HRR requirement.I came to United States last year on J-2 visa from India and after few month I applied and got the EAD card and now I am also working for XYZ IT company here in the USA and I am subject to two HRR requirement as well. My employer wants to file H-1B visa for me but my wife does not have an offer for H-1B visa so in that case Can I (J-2 visa holder) file a waiver petition independently of the J-1 Principal?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://youtu.be/XAfykYM-cUQ?t=89

FAQ Transcript:

The question asked is can a J-2 holder obtain a waiver of the Home Residency requirement without the J-1 holder being involved and the answer is, the last time I looked into this issue it is a "No".  The exemption was if there was some sort of impossibility associated with the J-1 holder conferring the benefits of a waiver for instance if they were divorced or there was a death of the J-1 spouse. In those cases certainly this was a possiblity. But otherwise you cannot as a J-2 holder obtain a waiver by yourself. Your disqualification for the Home Residency requirement came into being because of the J-1 holders status. So the theroy of the law is that J-1 holder must apply for a waiver.

Regarding J-1 HRR Waiver

Authored on: Thu, 10/31/2013 - 05:53

Question

An experience from our community reader:

I did not have to go through the grueling J-1 HRR process from India. A matter of fact for your reference, a lot of students coming from India to US on J-1 for internship or completing their last semester are put on J-1 HRR directly without any inquiry into their application at the visa window. This causes a lot of stress to individuals under J-1 HRR and very few know that J-1 HRR Advisory opinion exists. I had been reading a lot of articles and on the USIEF website when I came to know about this and applied to see after 2 months that the J-1 HRR was never applicable to me.

Answer

Rajiv's Response:

Thanks for sharing. People, note, it is a good idea to confirm whether or not you are in fact subject to the HRR. We have been doing that for years in cases where there is a likelihood that you are not subject to HRR. Two typical situations where you may NOT be:

1. No US federal government funding (reinforced by suffix "P" instead of "G" in your program number) and

2. Your specialization is not on the country skills list.

Home Residency Requirement for Second Visa

Authored on: Wed, 11/28/2012 - 06:41

Question

I got a J-2 visa and my wife on J-1 recently in which we have never travelled to US yet. Now my employer is ready to apply a L-1B for me and my wife L-2. Is this possible? Or will I be subjected to 2 years home stay restriction which is applicable for J visa without travelling on J. Will it be a problem in US consulate when I appear for L-1 visa as me and my wife have J-2 and J-1?

Answer

If I remember correctly, 212(e), the HRR, does not apply till you actually use the visa.

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

Authored on: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 06:32

Question

Let’s say that a J-2 visa holder enters the United States as a derivative of a J-1 principal who is subject to the two-year home residency requirement of INA 212(e). Without leaving the United States, she later changes status from J-2 to J-1. The J-1 program in which she participates as the principal is also subject to INA 212(e). Thus, the person is independently subject to INA 212(e) based on two separate programs – her husband’s (as a J-2 derivative) and her own (as a J-1 principal). Please confirm that this person may file a single DS-3035 form that includes all DS-2019s from both programs and receive a single waiver covering both programs.

Answer

In this situation, the applicant’s J-1 waiver does not cover her period in J-2 status. 9 FAM 41.62 states that if an alien is subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement, the spouse and child of that alien are also subject to that requirement. Thus, the individual you have described would need a separate waiver to cover the time that she spent in J-2 status that subjected her to the two-year home residency requirement.Two separate DS-3035 applications would therefore be required in this circumstance.