How the 2020 J1 Visa Ban will likely create faster waiver processing in 2023 or 2025?


The J1 waiver process is generally confusing, but usually a requirement for most J1 professionals, such as international teachers. For a J1 teacher, their waiver options are usually either (1) the no-objection statement process or (2) the exceptional hardship.

This post is an immigration attorney‘s opinion (estimation) on the likely processing times of a waiver process for the academic years of 2023 to 2024 and 2026 to 2027.

For starters, there are two important items to consider:

First, the J1 visa was banned for the academic year of 2020 to 2021. More information on the ban found here:

Second, J1 teachers usually file their waiver during their third academic year or fifth academic year. The priority for the teachers is usually “continual employment” and the waiver may disrupt employment. It is important to note that the waiver is generally required in order to become a Lawful Permanent Resident due to marriage to a United States Citizen or to seek H-1B employment.

The Ban means tens of thousands of J1s did not come to the US in 2020. Less new arrives means less waiver applicants in 2023 and 2025. The Department of State will probably keep the same amount of employees, not taking into account the cause-and-effect that this ban has on the number of waiver applicants.

This will most likely naturally dissolve any possible Covid backlog at the Department of State that has accrued between March 2020 and July 2023.

If you are entering your third or fifth year and are planning to file for the waiver in 2023 or 2025, it is recommended to speak with an immigration attorney that frequently handles J1 waiver filings. You can contact our office to set up a consultation to learn about estimated timelines, requirements, and what to expect next for either a Green Card filing or H-1B employment filing in the future.




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