Has anyone had any luck with the J-1 Waiver of the 2 year home residency requirement, with government funds made available by the US Government?

I was part of a high-school exchange program in 2008 on a J-1 visa, and since then spent a bit more than a year back home, after which I returned to the US in F-1 status and have been in it since.

Now I am applying for the waiver under the No Objection clause, and am curious what is the success rate and what are the ways in which I can make my case better to US DoS?

  • Has your home country government provided you with the No Objection Statement? It's difficult to know how many succeed but are you certain that your high school exchange had the residency requirement? Since you've been in F-1 status for years, might it already have been waived? – Giorgio Feb 2 '17 at 20:39
  • @Dorothy the government already provided the No Objection letter, and DoS has received it. I am fairly certain that the exchange had the requirement because it states so in both the visa and DS-2019, with the checkmark of US Government Funding. I would love for it to be automatically waived, but I don't think the current provision allow it to expire on its own, and I still need to apply for a waiver. – Den Delimarsky Feb 2 '17 at 21:04
  • Understood. Since you've been in F-1, with the exception of that one year, are you planning to go for a change of status from a non-immigrant to an immigrant? In the current climate, who knows what will happen. Perhaps a strong argument would be that it was while you were in high school and that, at 17 (if my math guess is correct), you did return home. When you were granted an F-1, it seems to suggest that the US felt you had satisfied the J-1 requirement. – Giorgio Feb 2 '17 at 21:57
  • @Dorothy yes, I am planning to file for AOS. F-1 is a non-immigrant visa (does not carry dual intent either) so it can be granted even with the incomplete 2 year home residency requirement, therefore I don't think in itself it is a sign of abandoning the requirement, unfortunately. – Den Delimarsky Feb 2 '17 at 22:10
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    You might consider it, though, since the 2-year residency seems to be expressed as two continuous years, not one then and another now. It would create quite a difficulty for you, as you've been here for 8+ years. And count every month you were home, so that you can say it was 16-18 months (whatever it was, to squeeze every bit of time. Of course, your exit and return will show your absence exactly. While you have to be careful about providing TOO much info, support from your employer (carefully crafted) might help. – Giorgio Feb 2 '17 at 22:17

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