J1 Visas are issued to individuals who are approved by the United States government to work or participate in study-based exchange visitor programs. There are a number of foreign residency requirements before one can get approved for a J-1 visa including a visa waiver. If you have a J1 visa waiver denied or rejected you may have other options available.
Statutory Bases for Visa Waiver
As a foreign exchange visitor there are five bases from which you can apply for a J-1 Waiver. The first is the “No Objection” statement from your home country. The second is a request from an interested Government Agency in the U.S. (otherwise known as an IGA waiver). The third is a claim of persecution in your home country, should you return. The fourth is a claim of exceptional hardship and the last is a request from a designated State Health Agency.
Obtaining a waiver of the two-year home residence requirement is not always the easiest task to undertake.
What is the home residence requirement?
The home residence requirement precludes a J visa holder from an H visa, L visa or permanent resident status unless or until you have lived in your home country for 2 full years (or a waiver is obtained).
J1 Waiver Denied
Was your J1 waiver denied or rejected after submission? If you find yourself in this situation, the bad news is that the Waiver Review Division typically won’t reconsider your application because it undergoes a very rigorous review before a final decision is made. With that being said, there is no formal way to appeal the Waiver Review’s determination of a denial. Nonetheless, you may be able to apply for a different statutory bases (mentioned above) for the waiver. It’s necessary to point out that an immigration attorney will best be able to determine which statutory base applies to your case. To learn more about a J1 waiver appeal or other options, contact our attorneys for an initial consultation.
Along with your J1 waiver denial, you’ll also receive the particular reason for the denied waiver. In general, if your have received government funding, either from your home country or the United States government, then a no-objection waiver will generally be denied. With that being said, you would have a better chance of receiving an approval if you filed under a different statutory base.
If you filed a waiver based on both the fear of persecution and exception hardship, be aware that this is not proper protocol. These waivers should not be combined. If you filed your application based solely on the fear of persecution, you can however, appeal a denial and file for reconsideration.
Denial After Receiving New Information
In some cases, you may have your J1 waiver denied after receiving information that could alter your eligibility. If that’s the case you may be able to file a new application–in the case of exceptional hardship to a citizen, spouse or child or based on persecution.
Requesting a No Objection Statement
Once you have received your waiver case number, you should then request the No Objection Statement from your home country government. And you should receive a case number upon completing the online application. We’ve seen instances in which a home country did not issue a no objection statement on our client’s behalf. As you can imagine, this is a road block for the rest of the process. When this occurs, you may apply for a recommendation under on of the other statutory bases that apply to your case.
What if none of the other bases apply to my case?
If this occurs, you’ll usually need to fulfill the 2 year home country presence requirement.
Common Reasons for J1 Waiver Denied
The Waiver Review Division will deny a recommendation application when the reasons presented on it don’t outweigh the program and/or foreign policy considerations for the exchange visitor program. That’s why recommendation applications from foreigners who receive some sort of funding from the U.S. government are denied.
How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help
At SGM Law Group, our J1 Visa Lawyers have extensive experience handling J1 visa cases as well as J1 waivers denied on the basis of “no objection”. If you have received a denial notice, it’s important to address it in a timely manner. You may be able to file under a different statutory base or take alternative action.
Give us a call to schedule a free consultation with one of our Fort Lauderdale immigration attorneys. During our initial meeting, you’ll be asked to provide all case related documents including J1 visa waiver denial documents. If you’re still awaiting a response regarding your J1 visa, we are available to assist you with filing for a spouse, child or other relative as well.