Two Year Residency Requirement

 The purpose of the home-residency requirement is to have the home country benefit from the exchange visitor’s experience in the United States.  The requirement is intended to ensure that the participant (and any dependents) will spend at least two years in their home country before coming back to the United States for a long-term stay.  

Not all exchange visitors are subject to the requirement.  

You may be subject for the following reasons:

  • If the exchange visitor’s funding comes all or partially, directly or indirectly, from the U.S. government or a foreign government for the purpose of the J-1 program.

  • If the field of the J-1 activities are on the skills list specific to his or her home country – the list of fields that the home country government requested to be included.

  • The purpose of the J-1 program is for the exchange visitor to receive "graduate medical education or training."

Most commonly you will learn if you are subject at the time of applying for a visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate.  Your DS-2019 or visa will be annotated to reflect if you are subject to 212(e).  If you have questions about the requirement, including whether or not it is applicable to you, please consult with the Consular Officer when you apply for your visa or visit theDepartment of State website.

Please note that if subject, an exchange visitor is unable to apply for a change of status within the USA. unless the requirement is fulfilled or waived.