Foreign national physicians in the United States who hold a J-1 visa are required to leave for two years prior to returning. This can be a wrenching prospect for those who have married and put down roots in the United States. There is relief offered by “waiver” by which this requirement can be waived. One such waiver option is based upon the hardship the 2-year return would cause to the physician’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members.
- The facts of each physician’s case are unique to him or her, and must be examined carefully to include:
- The physician’s home country
- The physician’s family members and their status (citizen or lawful permanent resident)
- Country conditions that will prompt the hardship
- The type of hardship(s) that will be caused, such as medical, safety, social, educational, professional, and/or other
- Evidence and proofs of the hardship(s)
For physicians with U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members, this option should be carefully considered as a valuable means to apply for a waiver of the two-year rule.