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J1 Visa Waiver Application (Stage 1)

Updated: Mar 16

I am a post-doctoral research scientist with the University of California, Riverside and I have recently gone through the J1 visa waiver process. I am sharing my experience with everyone which I believe would help others to obtain a J1 waiver easily.

I referred to several blogs and videos which was time-consuming. I have divided the whole process into the following sections:


J1 Waiver: Stage 1

J1 Waiver: Stage 2

J1 Waiver: Stage 3

Read all of my blogs

Stage 1

Following are the steps for stage 1, it would max take 3-5 weeks based on your location and consulate.

  • Download the miscellaneous service form from your respective Consulate General of India website.

  • Check out the list of all the consulate details here.

  • You will also find the link to the Miscellaneous form for each consulate on the same page.

  • Open the NORI link and navigate to stage-1 to download the form.

  • You need one copy of this form and it should be hand-filled, paste a recent passport-size photograph on it. I have attached the miscellaneous form which I used for CGI-SF.

Download PDF • 190KB
  • Download the Waiver/NORI (No Objection Return to India) Certificate from your respective CGI website.

  • It contains two sections - Bio-data and Affidavit.

  • You need four copies of this form and it should be hand-filled.

  • Also, make sure to use the latest forms, as they might change in the future. You can use this link to download the form for CGI-SF. I have attached it below also.

Download PDF • 71KB
Related post: How to expedite J1 waiver

Once hand-filled, NORI (bio-data & affidavit) should be notarized.

You can get it notarized from the bank or UPS. Check with your bank, they might do it for free. If you choose to go to the UPS store you have to pay 25$ per document. I was not aware then and ended up paying a few hundred bucks to the UPS store.

Next, make two more Xerox copies of the notarized NORI form. Now, you will have 6 notarized NORI forms (4 original and 2 Xerox copies).

Related post: Sample statement of the reason for J1 waiver

J1 Waiver Fee

A non-refundable fee of 66$ is required for Stage 1 and the fee should be paid through a money order or cashier's check drawn in the favor of the consulate general of India, San Francisco (in my case).

Some CGI accepts cash too but that was not the case with CGI-SF. Additionally, ICWF charges (2$) will be applied for using miscellaneous services. So, you can prepare a money order/cashier's check for 68$ or make it separate 66$ and 2$.

In my case, I prepared two cashier checks worth 66$ and 2$ both payable to drawn in the favor of the consulate general of India, San Francisco.

The fee might change depending on the CGI location, so please double-check before proceeding. You can find the list of consulates in my previous blog here.

Submitting the Documents

Next, you need all the supporting documents (listed below) along with these forms and you have the following two options.

  1. You can mail all the documents to your respective consulate general of India along with your original passport. The mailing address is available on CGI websites.

  2. If you want you can physically visit the CGI office as well, in my case I went to CGI-SF since I was planning to travel to India and it was not possible for me to send my original passport by mail. You do not need an appointment for a CGI-SF visit.

In both options (1 & 2) you have to provide them with a return envelope with your address on it. It will take at least 5-6 weeks to get the documents signed by the Indian counselor officer and then it's posted to you using the return envelope you provided.

However, this varies location to location. One of my friend went to CGI-NY and the Indian counselor officer signed bio-data and affidavit on the same day and she came back home with all the documents. I thought the same for CGI-SF but they took 5 weeks.

Supporting documents

1. Current Indian passport in original and photocopy of the first five pages and last two pages of the current passport.

Related post: How to renew your passport

2. Proof of your US Visa Status:(copy of any one of the following)

  • Photocopy of the page containing visa on passport (H1-B, H-4, etc.), the copy of I-94, and photocopy of all DS-2019.

  • Clear Photocopy of Green Card

  • Employment Authorization Document (Work Permit)

  • I-797, I-140, or I-20 (If approval copies of these notices are pending, also attach a handwritten note detailing the efforts being taken to regularize status)

3. Proof of current US residence address: (copy of any one of the following)

  • U.S Driving license

  • PG&E, Water, or landline telephone bill displaying the applicant’s address

  • House Lease Agreement

  • State Identification Card

Note: Bank/credit card/mobile phone statements are not accepted as residence proof.

Related post: J1 waiver lawyer

For the updated forms and supporting documents list please check on your respective CGI website. The forms and guidelines might change with time.

Congratulations 🎉 Stage 1 is done!

Along with all the signed documents you will also receive a cover letter from Indian Consulate officer, which will indicate from which offices in India you need to obtain clearance certificates. If you don’t get any cover letter, please email and ask you respective consulates.

Cover Letter which I received from CGI-SF
Download JPG • 2.12MB

Please drop me a message in the comment section if you have any queries. I will get back to you ASAP.

Next: J1 Waiver (Stage 2)

Related Posts

J1 Visa Waiver Application (Stage 1)

J1 Visa Waiver Application (Stage 2)