Immigration regulations, laws and directives are confusing indeed. Without knowing exactly what various officials told you, without handing your case, without seeing all the paperwork for both it is impossible to advise you accurately.
Please refer all your case questions during a personal consultation with a local immigration attorney in Saint Paul. I am certain you will receive a much better understanding of your legal options than one short preliminary paragraph on Avvo regarding your important matter.
DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to oneâ€™s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 101, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602 http://alexanderivakhnenko.com
Only you need to apply for a J waiver. If your waiver is granted, your wife will not be subject to the two-year home residency requirement either.
(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
To get a complete, accurate opinion, I recommend a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney to make sure that you do not have other outstanding issues that may impact your ability to change or adjust status. Those issues could include unauthorized work, ANY interactions with police in the US, or your immigration history.
Also, J-1 waivers are far from automatic. There are many grounds for applying. I advise consulting with an attorney to strategize about the waiver.
The above answer is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney client relationship is created unless a retainer is signed by the attorney and the client. I strongly advise consulting with an immigration attorney before filing any papers with immigration, particularly if the person for whom you are filing has any past negative immigration or criminal history and is in the United States. There is always a risk of removal from the United States.