Proposed Revision of Information Collection for Form I-612

On November 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a notice of a proposed revision to the collection of information for USCIS Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement. The I-612 is required under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for those who are subject to the two-year home residency requirement, and who are seeking to apply for a waiver of the requirement based upon exceptional hardship to the applicant’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or child, or on the basis of persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion. Comments will be accepted for 60 days, until January 24, 2017.

Background on the Two Year Home Residency Requirement

Certain J-1 holders are subject to the requirement of returning to the home country for a minimum of two years, or obtaining a waiver of the home residency requirement.  Physicians and certain professions on a skills list, who are in shortage in their home countries or those who have taken certain government funding, generally are subject to the two-year requirement to return to the home country. There are a number of waivers of the home residency requirement available, such as the so-called no objection waiver, or the interested government agency (IGA) waiver frequently used by physicians. The I-612 is used only by persons who are applying for a waiver because their USC or LPR spouse or child would suffer extreme hardship as a result of the two years of home residency, or because the person would suffer persecution based on race, religion or political opinion in their home country. Information regarding the home residency requirement and the waivers potentially available is contained in the earlier MurthyDotCom InfoArticle Overview of the J-1 Visa Process (20.Feb.2012).

Proposed Suggestions / Comments for DHS on Information Collection

The DHS is soliciting written comments and suggestions to address the following points.

  1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DHS, including whether the information will have practical utility.
  2. Evaluate the accuracy of the DHS’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.
  3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.
  4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Current Estimates of DHS and Process to Submit Comments

The estimated number of respondents for the information collection of the I-612 is 736, and it takes an estimated 20 minutes for each response. The annual hours of information collection is 245 hours.

Comments may be submitted online via the Federal eRulemaking Portal under e-Docket ID number USCIS-2008-0012, or via U.S. mail to:

DHS, USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy Chief
Regulatory Coordination Division
20 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington DC 20529-2140


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.