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J-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


When should I start the No-Objection Process for J-1 waiver and how long does it take?

Each home country has a different policy regarding when to initiate the No-Objection Process. The period of the No-Objection process depends on your particular home country. Some countries process the letter quickly and provide you with a response in a few months, other require up to six months for a No-Objection determination.


What is an IGA waiver on J-1?

An IGA Waiver is obtained through sponsorship of an Interested Government Agency (IGA). Generally, the potential sponsoring IGA is a U.S. government agency that financially supports your program or has a strong interest in your area of research or study. An effective way to identify an IGA is to trace your program funding.

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When is a good time to begin an IGA waiver for J-1?

Timing is very important for IGA Waivers. Usually, an IGA waiver is initiated towards the latter stage of the individual's program. For example, a J visiting researcher or professor program may be extended for three or more years. In this example, the IGA Waiver should be initiated at the end of year two.


Why should I wait until the latter stages of the program to begin IGA Waiver for J-1?

There are three reasons for this:

  • Basis for your IGA is your claim that you are an important part of the research program and your anticipated absence, due to the limited duration of the J-1 program, will jeopardize the research project
  • Some time is necessary for you to publish articles that is necessary supporting evidence for your application
  • You may need time to become acquainted with your project colleagues who will be writing recommendation letters on your behalf
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