How can I get my 2-year foreign residency requirement for my J-1 waived? – ProWellTech

How can I get my 2-year foreign residency requirement for my J-1 waived? – ProWellTech

Here is another edition of “Dear Sophie”, the advice column that answers questions related to labor immigration in technology companies.

“Your questions are critical to the dissemination of knowledge that enables people around the world to push boundaries and pursue their dreams,” said Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you are in people ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next article.”

The “Dear Sophie” columns are accessible for Extra Crunch subscribers; use the promotional code ALCORN to purchase a one or two year subscription with a 50% discount.


Dear Sophie:

I am entering my second year in the US on a five year J-1 research visa from Italy. When we arrived we thought it was going to be temporary, but our plans have changed and now we want to try and stay in the United States. My husband started his business here with his J-2 visa work permit and our daughter was born here. However, we should return to Italy for two years. How can we get a 212 (e) waiver?

—Positive in Palo Alto

Dear Positive:

Congratulations on your achievements: the birth of your daughter, your search position, and the start of your husband. Happy to share the J-1 visa, the two-year residency requirement (a section of the law called “212 (e)”) and get a waiver so you can apply for a green card or other type of visa. For more information, check out my podcast on the two-year foreign residency requirement and submission of a waiver and the Dear Sophie column from the past few weeks with an overview of J-1 visa types. The earlier you start preparing your waiver application, the better.

The J-1 Educational and Cultural Exchange Visa is intended for people from all over the world who work or study in the United States and then return their newly acquired knowledge and skills to their home country. That said, it’s not a straightforward path if after you arrive you decide to stay longer in the US, I recommend working with an immigration attorney to devise a strategy to achieve your goals as well as get a waiver. I also recommend that you speak to your employer to consider if they can later sponsor you for a green card.

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