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.
How do I verify whether or not I am subject to the two-year rule?
Review your J-1 visa stamp(s) in your passport in the ‘annotation section.’ Typically, there will be a note such as “Bearer subject to 212e” or “212e does not apply.” You may also review the bottom left box on your Form DS-2019(s), which were presented at a visa interview and notice if there is a box selected if you are subject or not.
What if I think this was applied in error or I need to officially confirm whether I am subject to the two-year rule?
U.S. Department of State offers an Advisory Opinion to J-1 Exchange Visitors who need further confirmation of whether they are subject to the two-year rule.
How do I complete the two-year home residency requirement?
If you are subject, you must reside in your home country (or in some cases, your last country of legal permanent residence) for a cumulative duration of at least two years before you would be eligible for dual-intent or immigrant status in the U.S. (i.e. H, L, or permanent resident status). The two-year period begins from the day following the DS-2019 program end date.
Is it possible to waive the two-year home residency requirement?
Yes, you may seek a waiver of this requirement; there are 5 waiver categories. The most common category for UIC EVs is a “No Objection Statement.” However, it is important to note that your DS-2019 program end date cannot be extended further once a 212(e) waiver has been granted by the Department of State. The timing of the waiver application is crucial, so please be sure to contact an OIS advisor before beginning the process. Department of State offers further guidance on eligibility and detailed instructions for the 212(e) waiver application. Please note that OIS may not assist you with completing the waiver application, as we are your sponsor. You may either pursue the waiver on your own, seek the counsel of an immigration attorney.