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illidanx

IR1 visa approved with only 1 of the 2 year j-1 rule fulfilled

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Want to share my experience here for people who are subject to the 2 year home residence rule and also ask for some opinions from fellow VJers. I left the US this day 1 year ago after 10.5 years studying in the US. I got my IR-1 visa interview schedule for Dec 20, 2016, only 1 year after I returned to my home country (Vietnam). I thought about rescheduling it but didn't do so because i said to myself: it won't be the last interview, they will request more documents and evidences anyway. So I went to the interview as scheduled. After 5 minutes of simple questioning, the consular officer approved my visa to my surprise. He didn't ask anything about the J-1 even though i said it truthfully on DS-260 form. Now i'm waiting to receive my passport with the visa back.

I have read stories of people on VJ with a few months forgiven but nothing like 1 year forgiven (or CO just don't care). This seems too good to be true. What's your opinion on this? Once I got my visa, am I good to go. Will this come back to bite me in the future?

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If you know for a fact that you are subject to the two year HRR then yes, you are currently ineligible to receive an immigrant visa and your application should not have been approved.

If someone notices this error down the line (when you apply for citizenship, for example) then it's possible that USCIS could attempt to revoke your green card since your immigrant visa was improperly issued.


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AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

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If you know for a fact that you are subject to the two year HRR then yes, you are currently ineligible to receive an immigrant visa and your application should not have been approved.

If someone notices this error down the line (when you apply for citizenship, for example) then it's possible that USCIS could attempt to revoke your green card since your immigrant visa was improperly issued.

But isn't it true that the consular officer have the final say in whether my visa should be granted or not? If he decided to forgive the remaining of my 2 year residence, why would USCIS question it? Or should I write to the consulate to ask them cancel my visa and stay here for 1 more year?

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They may have the final say, but they have to operate within the law and policy.

Is it something you're willing to roll the dice on? Maybe no one would notice for a year, or five years, or maybe never. That isn't something I'd want hanging over my head.

I don't believe it's within a consular officer's authority to just forgive half of the HRR. It isn't a discretionary issue. You either are subject to the HRR - meaning you need to either serve the two years or obtain a waiver before you can receive a visa - or you aren't.


Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

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What does your records say? Just because the US Embassy doesn't have it, doesn't mean that records don't exist. Do you know for sure if you are subject to the 2 years HRR?

If you are not subject to the 2 years HRR, then you are golden.

If you are subject to the 2 years HRR and you use a visa that you are ineligible for, you will be looking over your back for a long time because it can come back to bite you.

You are ultimately responsible to know if you are subject to the 2 years HRR or not. It's up to you to act accordingly. Take a benefit that you know you do not qualify for because someone at the US Embassy missed something or didn't have the relevant information does not absolve you of any responsibility. Your life, your choice.

Edited by aaron2020

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What does your records say? Just because the US Embassy doesn't have it, doesn't mean that records don't exist. Do you know for sure if you are subject to the 2 years HRR?

You are ultimately responsible to know if you are subject to the 2 years HRR or not. It's up to you to act accordingly. Take a benefit that you know you do not qualify for because someone at the US Embassy missed something or didn't have the relevant information does not absolve you of any responsibility. Your life, your choice.

The embassy has the records about my J-1 program, including my source of funding and my sponsor, so they must know better than me, don't they? I have conflicting records of whether I am subject or not. My J-1 visa said I wasn't but my DS-2019 said I was. Maybe someone checked the wrong box on my DS-2019 but because of that, I could not use my DS-2019 to prove that I was not subject. Therefore I returned to my home country. I don't know why I should be ultimately responsible to find out if I'm subject or not. I said on my DS-260 visa application that I was subjected because I thought I did. But since the embassy checked and found out I was not subject, I'd be happy to go by that.

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Btw, I don't know if you guys are familiar with the J-1 visa program but whether a person is subject to the 2 year rule is not a clear cut. It's open to interpretation based on the source of funding, the sponsor and the field of study. All the decisions on ds-2019 and visa stamp are just preliminary. No one knows for sure if they are correct or wrong. The students just know to take the visa when it's offered to them while having no idea if they are subject or not. In my case, I did not lie about my J-1 past and the embassy followed the procedure by checking my J-1 records. If according to them, my records do not have 2 year requirement, then let it be.

Edited by illidanx

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