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J-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


What is the relationship between a J-1 visa and an O-1 visa?

There is no direct relationship between a J-1 visa and an O-1 visa. While on J-1 status, if you are not able to obtain a J-1 waiver before your maximum term expires, your employer may apply for an O-1 visa on your behalf and you may go abroad to obtain an O-1 visa.


What are my chances of obtaining a J-1 visa waiver?

Obtaining a J-1 waiver varies for every individual. Every case needs to be determined on its own merits. It is impossible to predict whether your J-1 waiver request will be granted. However, a well prepared application along with strong supporting documentation will always improve your chances.

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What role does the United States Information Agency (USIA) play in determining J-1 waivers?

Prior to 1999, the USIA handled all J-1 waivers. The agency was abolished and all J-1 Waivers are now under the jurisdiction of the U.S. State Department, Waiver Review Division.


If I have been denied a National Interest Waiver, will I be able to obtain a J-1 waiver?

It depends. The National Interest Waiver and J-1 Waiver application process are determined independently of one another. One petition does not affect the other.


Can I self-petition for a J-1 visa waiver?

Yes, you are eligible to self-petition for either Persecution or a Hardship Waiver. However, a No Objection Letter Waiver request must be made by your home country or country of last permanent residence. Additionally, an IGA Waiver request must be made on your behalf by an interested government agency.

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