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Name: Digitaldoc, MD
Location: United States

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Taking USMLE steps? Get the basics right about H1, J1, Green Card and related issues for Foreign / International Medical Graduates, IMGs, FMGs, Medical Students, Residents, Physicians & Doctors
**International Copyright** | Last Updated: 24th March 2011

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

J2 Visas, 2-Year HRR & Waivers

Ever wondered if the correct spelling was 'dependAnt' or 'dependEnt' ? The doubt always got me until I found out that both are correct in their ways ! "dependEnt" can either be used as an adjective or an American noun - while 'dependAnt' is a British noun. I hope you guys are not going to start pointing out mistakes in my usage of either terms - coz' it really does not matter to me as long as I get the point across ;-)

As you already know - J2 visa holders are dependents of J1 visa holders. We already saw that that J2 Visa holders are allowed to get employed and be paid and that they can even do residency / fellowship on a J2 visa status, as long as the J1 visa holder remains in legal status.

Here are some relevant points to common questions about the applicability of the 2 year HRR (Home Residency Requirement) and the J-waiver jobs.

1. J2 visa dependants of J1-visa spouse holders are subject to a 2-year Home Residency Requirement only if the primary J1 visa holder is subject.

2. If the primary J1 visa holder gets a J1-waiver on any grounds (Read About J-1 waiver Basics), then the J2 holder is automatically relieved of the Home country requirement too and can shift to a H1b residency, fellowship or job positions.

3. If the J1 holder is unable to find a waiver - then BOTH the J1 holder AND the J2 Visa holder need to complete the 2 year HRR. Completion of the requirement by one member does not discount the other. In more detailed words, If the primary J1 holder alone goes back to his/her country to complete the 2 year home country requirement, the J2 visa holder will still have to complete the 2-year home country requirement EVEN IF the J2 holder returns to the USA after switching to a another visa type such as an F-1 visa status (international student)

4. If the J-2 is divorced from the J-1 or the J-1 unfortunately dies, the two year foreign residence requirement for the J-2 holder will generally be waived.

Note: Additions / Modifications to this section may be made as my knowledge evolves

Also Read:

- About Residency / Fellowships on J-2 Visas

Search keywords to this article:

- "does the 212(e) apply for J-2 visa holders"
- "waiver jobs and J2 visa"
- "do J2 visa holders need to complete the two year home country requirement"

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Comments on "J2 Visas, 2-Year HRR & Waivers"


Blogger superdoc said ... (February 6, 2008 at 9:45 PM) : 

HI Digidoc, thanks for posting such useful info, I had some doubts. I was applying for a very competitive specialty for residency, so as a back up I also applied for research in the same specialty and now I have received the DS 2019 for research J1 visa

a) I'd be coming on a J1 research visa, if I match into a residency program this year which also accepts the ECFMG sponsored J1 visa, then will it be feasible for me to transfer to the residency J1 visa without much hassles within time limits (most residency programs start on July 1) ?

b) If I match into a residency program which sponsors H1b visa, then will it be possible for me to convert this research J1 visa to the residency H1b visa?

c) Some of my friends told me that if for some reason I quit the research before 6 months (or some say 4 months) of employment are over, then the 2 yr mandatory home rule requirement will not be applicable to me, is it true? If yes, then in that case, will I be eligible for J1 or H1b sponsorship by the same/other institution for residency/research in the future?

Please clarify these doubts, will be thankful.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (February 6, 2008 at 9:48 PM) : 

what is the visa status of your J2 dependent spouse when the primary J1 holder is doing a waiver and can your dependent do a job at that time.


Blogger Digitaldoc, MD said ... (February 6, 2008 at 11:29 PM) : 

To Superdoc:

Hello again Superdoc :-) I have posted some issues about transfer from Research J1 to Residency visa status on this previous post.

About your questions:

a. Yes, like the comments posted on the post i linked above, users called called up ECFMG who said there will not be problems in transferring from J1 research to residency J1.

b. One can transfer from Research J1 to Residency H1b visa status ONLY IF the research J1 is not subject to the 2-year home country requirement - check the J1 stamp on your passport to verify that. You can even get a advisory opinion about that, if the requirement is not clear

c. I am not aware of a rule like that - but if that is true and the 2-year rule is not applicable because of that - then yes, you could shift to either residency J1 or residency H1b directly

Answer 2: When the J1 starts a waiver job on H1b , the J2 status of the spouse will no longer exists. The spouse will either need to transfer to a H4 - i.e. H1b dependent status (cannot be employed on H4) OR can independently find own employer willing to sponsor H1b. Being married does not make it compulsory to be on a dependent visa ..nor does it mean that a dependent visa will automatically be granted - an application needs to be done :-)


Blogger Digitaldoc, MD said ... (February 7, 2008 at 1:04 AM) : 

Also Superdoc - it would be great would great if you could share with readers a write-up on how you landed the J1 research position and your advice on how IMGs should go about searching for one plus other relevant concerns :-)


Blogger Mandy said ... (February 7, 2008 at 3:00 AM) : 

what if the J2 spouse did a residency on J2...........will she/he need to find a seperate waiver job or is automatically excused of the HRR when the J1 spouse finds a Waiver

No plans on cards :D ........just askin for GK ;-)


Blogger superdoc said ... (February 8, 2008 at 5:55 AM) : 

Thanks for answering my Qs digidoc, I appreciate it.
Unfortunately my research J1 has the 2 yr HRR bar, do I have to play carefully now.
As far as how I got it, its quite simple. I rotated there as a med student, and impressed a senior faculty member who subsequently arranged it for me. But alas, this visa screwed it up.


Blogger Digitaldoc, MD said ... (February 8, 2008 at 10:30 AM) : 

Don't sound so forlorn :-) Shifting from your J1 to a residency J1 is not a problem. I would still say you should verify about the 2-year HRR thru a advisory opinion and make sure its not just a '2-year bar' wherein a J1 may not return to the same status after completing the project but may move on to a work visa status


Blogger Digitaldoc, MD said ... (February 10, 2008 at 8:53 AM) : 

Yes, even if J2 did a residency - the HRR gets waived off when the J1 gets a waiver..but J2 loses J2 status too..since the J1 is now H1b - so the ex-J2 will need to get sponsored on by a own separate H1b by the program from thereon


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