J-1 HARDSHIP WAIVERS
You may apply for an exceptional hardship waiver if your compliance with the 2-year home residency requirement would cause your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (i.e. green card holder) spouse or child to suffer exceptional hardship. It is not enough to show your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (i.e. green card holder) spouse or child would suffer exceptional hardship if they remained in the United States without you. Rather, you must show your relative would suffer exceptional hardship both if he/she stays in the U.S. without you and if he/she follows you to your home country for the 2-year home residency period. Separation alone is not sufficient to show exceptional hardship. Factors to be considered when assessing hardship include, but are not limited, to:
- Family ties to the United States and impact of separation;
- Economic detriment;
- Difficulties in adjusting to life in your home country;
- Quality and availability of educational opportunities in your home country;
- Inferior quality of medical services and facilities in your home country especially if your relative has health conditions;
- Psychological impact of relocation or separation;
- Ability of your relative to pursue his/her chosen employment in your home country; and
- Country conditions in your home country.
These factors must be considered in their totality and cumulatively when assessing whether your relative will experience exceptional hardship both if he/she stays in the U.S. without you and if he/she follows you to your home country for the 2-year home residency period.
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