Many Filipino/Filipina J1 Teachers contact our office regarding:
- Denied NOS Waiver Request from the EVP
- Whether they should Appeal the Denial?
This post will answer these topics, but explain the common “next step.”
Why does EVP Deny NOS Waiver Requests?
In 2021, EVP announced a new policy after the 2020 COVID Moratorium. The new policy superceeded / rewrote the EVP Policy/Stance on granting NOS Waivers. The previous policy was to 100% approve NOS Waiver in a few instances, especially when a J1 marries a US Citizen or when a J1 has a US Citizen child.
HOWEVER, that policy was replaced with a new one that “could” approve the NOS Waiver Request if there is a true need and if it in the Philippines’ National Interest.
After the initial announcement, EVP added further information regarding their stance on the waiver process. EVP seeks to remind J1s of the underlying purpose of the J1 Program.
What is the purpose of a J1 Visa?
Many J1 Visa Holder’s forget the PURPOSE of the J1 Visa is: CULTURAL EXCHANGE. The J1 is a Cultural Exchange Visa.
That means some culture from the Philippines will exchange to the US during the J1 Period. For instance, a J1 Teacher would bring herself, her speech patterns, some foreign traditional items, and a different perspective to the classroom and the to the students.
Alternatively, AFTER the J1 Period concludes, the experiences would return with the J1, back to the Philippines for a minimum of 2 years. During the 2-year home residency, the J1 would likely return to the workforce, sharing the things learned from the US. For instance, in the Teacher example again, the Philippine teacher would bring US experiences to the Philippine Classroom and Education System.
What the J1 is NOT, as stated by the EVP?
The J1 Visa is NOT a visa to:
- date in the US
- get engaged in the US
- get married in the US
- get a Green Card in the US
- immigrate to the US
- acquire an H1B Employment Visa
From EVP Standpoint:
The Philippines is BETTER OFF, they receive CULTURAL EXCHANGE and a VERY EDUCATED CITIZEN by denying NOS and requiring the Philippine J1 to return to the Philippines for a minimum of 2 years. The Philippines, as a country, receives ZERO benefit by approving a J1 waiver, unless the approval can be proven to be in the Philippine’s National Interest.
Should you Appeal the Waiver Denial?
If the above hasn’t painted a picture of what EVP is looking for, then it is usually recommended to NOT WASTE TIME appealing. If you can’t prove “Philippine National Interest,” then EVP will not positively review your NOS Request.
Rather, you should be SUPER MINDFUL of what to do next.
The BIGGEST ISSUE is if the J1 Overstays the J1 Visa. A 3-year Bar begins to occur after the Visa Overstay reaches 180 days, and the bar becomes a 10-year Bar after 1 year of overstay. Additionally, any overstay may cause issues for a Consular Process anytime after the 2-year home residency requirement is satisfied/completed.
What is the Common Next Step?
In Short, CONSULAR PROCESSING.
Timing is important, if you do not want to be abroad for too long, more than the required minimum of 2-years.
More Information on Consular Processing a Spouse or other common topics can be seen here:
US Citizen’s Guide to Marrying in the Philippines and Immigrating a Philippine (Filipina) Spouse to the United States
J1 Waiver of 212(e) Special Skills list: Philippines and the Exceptional Hardship
Can I Apply for a J1 Waiver Simultaneously with my Green Card Filing?
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