J1 Waiver of 212(e) Special Skills list: Philippines and the Exceptional Hardship


This post will focus solely on the J1 Teachers from the Philippines. There are three important facts a filipina/filipino J1 Teacher needs to first know:

  1. The J1 Visa usually subjects the Philippine Citizen to the 212(e) Special Skills List / Two Year Home Residency Requirement. Meaning, the J1 usually has to agree to return to the Philippines for a minimum of 2 years after the J1 Visa completes.
  2. The Philippines, as of May 2021, no longer issues No Objection Statements for a J1 Waiver based on a Marriage to a US Citizen or giving birth to a US Citizen Child. In 2021, the Philippines CHANGED the policy to the requirement of showing “Philippine National Interest.”
  3. Philippine J1 Teachers usually account for 20% to 25% of the Academic Year’s issuance of J1 Teacher Visas around the world. Meaning, about 1 out of 4 or 1 out of 5 (depending on the year) J1 Teachers are from the Philippines and would be in the same situation as you.

What is the Filipino/Filipina J1 Waiver Option?

Exceptional Hardship is the only waiver option for a Philippine J1 Teacher after the 2021 Philippine Policy Change.

The Philippines will not find “Philippine National Interest” in the marriage to a US Citizen or the birth of a US Citizen Child. The Philippines will also not find national interest if the J1 Teacher wishes to seek H-1B Employment or that you want to apply for the NIW (which you are not eligible, but information online paints a confusing picture).

Is there More information on the Exceptional Hardship Waiver?

Yes, our office has created the following guidance regarding the J1 Exceptional Hardship Waiver:

The J1 Exceptional Hardship Waiver – Form I-612: Brief Summary

What if I want to be certain I am subject to the 2-year Home Residency Requirement?

If there is a Discrepancy in the DS-2019 and J1 Visas, an Advisory Opinion may be beneficial. More information found here:

When should a J1 / J2 perform a DOS Advisory Opinion?

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


Related Blog posts:

Top 6 States hiring J1 Teachers: Statistics and Interesting Info

Snapshot: 2021 J1 Visa Issuance in North Carolina

Understanding Adjustment of Status Movements Around the Nation: Raleigh-Durham Processing

Joint Bona Fide Documents: How to Start meeting the USCIS I-130 Evidence Requirement for a Marriage




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