The foreign residency requirement is in place so that exchange visitors will return to their home country to share the knowledge, experience, and the impressions they gained while in the United States. A J-1 visa holder’s dependent spouse and children are also subject to the foreign residency requirement. An exchange visitor can seek a waiver of the foreign residency requirement in situations where:
1. A United States government agency decides that a waiver would be in the national interest;
2. The foreign residency requirement will create an exceptional hardship on a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child of the exchange visitor;
3. The J-1 visa holder fears he/she will be subject to persecution because of nationality, race, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group;
4. The foreign national’s home country does not object to the grant of a waiver of the residency requirement;
5. A request has been made by a designated State health agency or its equivalent.