At least once a week a foreign national calls me and asks me:
Am I subject to the J-1 home-rule requirement?
The answer to this question the majority of the time is yes.
Q: Can I still apply for an NIW if I have a J1 visa?
A: Yes, you can, but you will most likely have to apply for a J-1 waiver to waive the two year home rule requirement before you can file for your adjustment of status.
Q: Is there a way to figure out definitively if I will be subject to the two year residency requirement?
A: Yes, there is a way to figure out if you are subject to the requirement, but only after the visa is granted to you! If both your certificate of eligibility form IAP-66 and your J-1 visa state that you are subject to the home rule, then you will definitively need to get a waiver. You can apply for a waiver to waive the home rule requirement, but there is no way to know ahead of time if you will be granted one. If your country of citizenship thinks that your skills are in short supply then you will not be granted a waiver.
Q: If I have been studying in Canada, can I go to Canada instead of Brazil to fulfill the two year requirement?
A: No, you would have to go back to Brazil for the two years because it is your country of citizenship.
Attorney Rachel Casseus and her team are happy to assist foreign nationals who would like to waive their J-1 home residency requirement. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.