In situations where a J-1 visa holder does not know if they are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement (212e), it is possible to request an Advisory Opinion (AO) from the department of State’s Waiver Review Division. This process requests a review of your exchange visitor program documentations to determine if you are, indeed, subject to this requirement.

To request an Advisory Opinion, the J-1 visa holder must prepare a package to include:

  1. A written description of your J-1 program(s) including program dates, sources of program funding, and any other relevant information related to the J-1 program
  2. Copies of all Form DS-2019s issued to you for J-1 status
  3. Copy of the J-1 visa stamp
  4. The Supplemental Applicant Information page (the actual application for the AO) found on the Department of State website.

You must send these materials, along with a self-addressed envelope, to:

INA 212(e) Advisory Opinion Request
Waiver Review Division, CA/VO/L/W
US State Department
Visa Office
SA-17, 11th Floor
600 19th St, NW
Washington, DC 20522-1711

The Waiver Review Division may take as long as 4 to 6 weeks to make a determination. Once you have submitted your application, you can monitor the status of your case (using your case number) at the J Visa Waiver Online Portal.