Waivers may be granted if a J-1 visa holder obtains a "no objection" letter from the exchange visitor's country of nationality or last permanent residence. The "no objection" letter is a formal, diplomatic statement from the home country to the State Department stating that the home country has no objection to the waiver of the foreign residency requirement for a particular foreign national. Most foreign embassies in Washington have officials designated to handle these statements. The procedures vary widely from country to country and may take up to a year or more.
Typically, the home country embassy submits the no-objection letter directly to the US State Dept, who then reviews the letter, and if approved, forwards the letter directly to the US Immigration Service. Such waivers are typically approved within 3-4 months of application.
Note: A "no objection" letter is not a valid basis for a waiver when the exchange visitor came to the US to receive graduate medical education or training – hence, medical residents / fellows will need to explore other waiver options, including Conrad 30, exceptional hardship, and VA waivers.
We have extensive expertise in assisting our clients in communicating with home country Embassies in the United States for purposes of applying for and obtaining no-objection letters.
Contact our office if we can assist you in any way.