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J-1 EV Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

Per Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, some J-1 Exchange Visitors are subject to what is called the two-year home-country physical presence requirement.

The two-year home residency requirement applies to you if: Heading link

  • You receive any funding for your J-1 Exchange Visitor program from your home government, or if you are named in a U.S. government grant or fellowship specifically designed for international exchange.
  • Your exchange program subject/field code is identified by your home government as being in short supply; thereby included on the U.S. government’s Exchange Visitor Skills List.
  • You participate in a medical residency as a J-1 Alien Physician.

J-1 Exchange Visitors who are subject to this requirement must reside in their country of last legal permanent residence for a cumulative duration of at least two years at the conclusion of their program before they would be eligible for dual-intent or immigrant status in the U.S. (i.e. H, L, or permanent resident status). Those subject to this requirement can return to the U.S. during this period in most other nonimmigrant statuses (i.e. J, F, B, O, etc.), but are ineligible for an in-country change of immigration status. J-2 Dependents are subject to this requirement in accordance with the principal J-1 Exchange Visitor.

FAQs Heading link

Here are some frequently asked questions about the J-1 two-year home residency requirement.