Some exchange visitors with J-1 visas are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement. It requires you to return home for at least two years after your exchange visitor program. This requirement is part of U.S. law, in the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e). If you cannot return home for two years, you must apply for a waiver. The Department of Homeland Security must approve your waiver before you can change status in the United States or receive a visa in certain categories.
Select Instructions and Online DS - 3035 to learn more and access the online form to request a recommendation for a waiver from the Department of State’s Waiver Review Division.
If the applicant is unable to meet the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, the applicant can apply for a “No Objection” certificate from the home-country. The applicant can submit a J-1 Waiver Recommendation Application to the U.S. Department of State (DOS), Waiver Review Division. The applicants are required to obtain a case file number from the DOS and inform same to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Sri Lanka.
If the home-country issues a “No Objection” certificate; such a certificate is sent directly by the Embassy in Washington, DCto the U.S. Department of State, Waiver Review Division for transmission to the USCIS. The USCIS will then make the final decision on your application.The Waiver Review Division of the DOS requires that "No Objection" certificates be forwarded via Federal Express. Please consult the Fees and Methods of Payments page for shipping details.
Certificates of "No Objection" by the government of Sri Lanka are issued by the Controller, Department of Immigration & Emigration (DI&E) of Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Before contacting the Embassy, you must obtain a case file number from the DOS. When a case file number has been obtained, you can apply to the Embassy requesting for a “No Objection” certificate from the government of Sri Lanka. Once the Embassy receives your request, it will be reviewed and submitted to the DI&E for processing. Upon receipt of approval from DI&E; the Embassy will forward the information directly to the Waiver Review Division of the DOS. The U.S. Department of State will then inform you of next steps.
You must apply for a “No Objection” certificate along with the specified documents.
The originals of the following documents must be provided.Note: English translations will not be accepted as originals. You must provide:
One fully completed “No Objection” Certificate application, The application must:
- Be signed and dated.
- Include answers for all required fields accurately.
- List the name of the applicant exactly as it is written in the passport.
- Clearly state the reason for change of J-1 visa.
- Passport must be valid on the date of application.
- Two clear color photocopies of the biodata page, visa endorsement and alteration pages of the passport.
- Copy of the J-1 visa issued by the USA.
Case File Number from the U.S. Department of State:
- Copy of the letter from the U.S. Department of State citing your case file number.
Consular fees: Please consult the Fees and Methods of Payment page.
Processing Time: up to 90business days
- Your original documents (if any) will be returned by secure courier.
- Please note that pre-paid self-addressed envelopes and/or shipping labels are not accepted.
- Please consult the Fees and Methods of Payment page for more details.
- Please ensure you add the costs of “returning documents” to the consular service fee(s).
- The Embassy is not responsible for any document lost in the post.
- The submission of forged documents and making false declarations relating to citizenship is a punishable offence. In such circumstances, consular fees will not be refunded.
- Incomplete applications will be rejected.