J1 Visa

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

36. 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.


37. 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.

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38. 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.


39. 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.


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

There are three reasons for this:

  1. 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
  2. Some time is necessary for you to publish articles that is necessary supporting evidence for your application
  3. You may need time to become acquainted with your project colleagues who will be writing recommendation letters on your behalf