J-1 Waiver Procedures and Information

1. Online application

Complete Form DS-3035, J Visa Waiver Recommendation Application. (Make sure you use the up-to-date form)

This web site allows exchange visitors desiring a waiver of 212(e) to reserve a case number and begin the paperwork for their request to the Department of State Waiver Review Division for a waiver recommendation. The exchange visitor or representative controls the data entry to ensure an error-free submission. J Visa Waiver Online creates a bar-coded document that will facilitate processing by the Waiver Review Division. As a result, processing times will be reduced. Those exchange visitors with case numbers can submit changes to their contact information or check the status of their case file.

IMPORTANT: It is not currently possible to “submit” the data electronically, or to pay any fees online. All documentation and fees must continue to be mailed to the Department of State.

Once you complete the form, you must print (black and white) your online from with the barcode assigned. The case number is issued immediately upon your completion of the form.

2. Mail the application package including the payment

Package should include:

  1. Your printed online application which is Form DS-3035 with the barcode shown on the form
  2. Legible copies of all J visa document such as Form DS-2019. “All” means every single DS2019 you’ve ever been issued since you had J-1 visa. if you miss any one of them, contact your program supervisor and request the copy 
  3. Two-self-addressed, stamped legal-size envelopes:
  4. Application fee (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/exchange/waiver-of-the-exchange-visitor/fee.html)
  5. Send all the documents in one package to:

If you would like to file a J-1 Waiver and has questions, please contact us at contact@augustnetwork.com for more information. 

3. Submit Supporting Documents

The documents you need to submit will depend on the basis for which you request a waiver.

Waiver Basis Organization (Third Party)
No Objection Statement Your home country's government
Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency Interested U.S. federal government agency
Persecution USCIS
Exceptional Hardship to a U.S. Citizen (or lawful permanent resident) spouse or child USCIS
Request by a Designated State Public Health Department or its Equivalent (Conrad State 30 Program) Designated State Public Health Department or its Equivalent

You must ensure that third parties send to division any supporting documents for you. The Waiver Review Division will NOT follow up on missing required supporting documents.

Next, you may verify the division received supporting documents from third parties. You may check your application status on the J Visa Waiver Online the webpage. Allow approximately 1 month after you and the third party submit all supporting document before checking.

Third parties must send supporting documents to:

Waiver Review Division
U.S. Department of State
CA/VO/DO/W
SA-17, Floor 11
Washington, DC 20522-1711

4. Check your Status and Update your Contact Information Timely

After you complete Steps 1-3, your waiver application is complete. To check the status of your case, go to the J Visa Waiver Online the webpage and select “Check the status.” Next, enter your case number. It will say if the division received your DS-3035 online application and fee payment (Step 2 of the Instructions) and supporting documents (Step 3 of the Instructions). The system will also inform you if any required documents are missing. Allow approximately one month after submitting a complete application before checking your status. You may send questions about your case or questions to 212ewaiver@state.gov. The division will send you a response by email.

Has your contact information (address, phone number, or email address) changed? You must update your information on the J Visa Waiver Online the webpage. Select “Inform the Department of State of a change to personal data.” The division can contact you only if the division have your accurate contact information.

5. More information Requested

If the division needs more information or documents from you, the division will contact you. The division will use the contact information you provided on your online Form DS-3035.

Use this address to send us any further information or documents the division request:

Waiver Review Division
U.S. Department of State
CA/VO/DO/W
SA-17, Floor 11
Washington, DC 20522-1711

Do not use this address when you are first submitting your waiver application and fee payment (Step 2).

6. Processing Time

Processing times vary depending on the basis under which you request a waiver. The times listed below are estimates only. The processing time for your application begins when your file is complete. Your file is complete when the division have your waiver application, processing fee, copies of DS-2019/IAP-66 forms (Step 2), and all required documents (Step 3).

No Objection Statement 12 to 16 weeks
Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency 8 to 16 weeks
Persecution 12 to 16 weeks
Exceptional Hardship 16 to 24 weeks
State Public Health Department (Conrad State 30 Program) 12 to 16 weeks
Advisory Opinion 4 to 8 weeks

Notice: Some waiver recommendation applications require further administrative processing. It will take additional time for the Waiver Review Division to send its recommendation to USCIS for such cases.

Notice: Expedited processing is available in cases of urgent humanitarian need and/or significant U.S government interest. To request expedited processing, please send an email to 212ewaiver@state.gov outlining your circumstances and including any supporting documentation. Requests for expedited processing may be made by an applicant, his or her attorney, or a Member of Congress (or congressional staff acting on the Member’s behalf).</p>

7. Department of State Recommendation and Final Determination by USCIS

The Department of State, Waiver Review Division will forward its recommendation to USCIS. The division will send you a copy of that recommendation at the address on your online Form DS-3035, or your current address if you reported a change.

The favorable letter can be used for I-485 application as a proof for pre-approved waiver.

If the division do not recommend to USCIS that you be granted a waiver, the division will send you a copy of the unfavorable waiver recommendation that the division send to USCIS.

USCIS makes the final determination on your waiver request. USCIS will decide whether to approve or deny your waiver application. USCIS will notify you at the address you provided. After the Waiver Review Division sends its recommendation to USCIS, you must contact USCIS for the status of your case.

USCIS is the final waiver authority. You do not have a waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement until USCIS informs you of an approved waiver.

8. Supporting Documents

Depending on the applicable basis you are applying for the waiver under, certain third parties need to send the supporting documents to the waiver review division. You may only apply under one basis at a time. We will talk about the document preparation under each base in the next chapter.

Sources:

  1. J-1 Visa Basics
  2. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/exchange/waiver-of-the-exchange-visitor/eligibility.html