Two-Year Home Residency Requirement 212(e), Waivers, and Bars

One of the major issues with J-1 status is determining whether or not you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement, and if so, what options are available. Please read the following information carefully and contact International Student Affairs if you have any questions.

What is the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement?

The two-year home residency requirement (or 212(e), as it is referenced in the immigration regulations) means that those who come the U.S. in J-1 status cannot become permanent residents in the U.S., change status in the U.S., or get work or family-based visa status such as H, L or K until they return to their country of last permanent residence for at least two years cumulatively.

Who is Subject?

Those in J-1 status (and their J-2 dependents) can become subject if any of the following apply to the J-1 program:

  • If the J-1 receives funding from the U.S. government, home government or an international organization to use for the J-1 program.
  • If the J-1 worked or studied in a field that appears on the Exchange Visitor Skills List (opens new window).
  • If the J-1 participated in a graduate medical training program in the U.S. under the sponsorship of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

A schematic overview of who is subject to the 2-year home residency requirement is given in Does the J-1 Section 212(e) Home Residency Requirement Apply? (PDF)(opens new window), requires Adobe Reader (opens new window). If you are not sure whether you should be subject to the 2-year home residency requirement, please contact International Student Affairs.

Waivers

To request a waiver follow the How to Apply Instructions - Waiver of the Exchange Visitor Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement (opens new window).

Bars

12-Month

Individuals that participated in J program for more than six months are not eligible to enter the U.S. as a J-1 Short-Term Scholar and Research Scholar/Professor until 12 months after the exit from theU.S. Time spent in the J-1 Short-Term Scholar and Research Scholar/Professor category does not count towards the 12-Month Bar. The 12-Month Bar applies to both the J-1 principal and any J-2 dependents. The 12-Month Bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the U.S. in any other visa status.

24-Month

Any individual who participates in an exchange program in the Short-Term Scholar and Research Scholar/Professor on or after November 18, 2006 is subject to a 24-Month Bar on "repeat participation" in those categories. Scholars subject to the 24-Month Bar may not return to the U.S. as a J-1 scholar in the Short-Term Scholar and Research Scholar/Professor category for the 24 month period. This bar also applies to J-2 dependents. The 24-Month Bar is not the same as the Two Year Home Residency Requirement 212(e). The 24-Month Bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the U.S. in any other visa status.

  • Impact of the 24-Month Bar J Scholars in the Short-Term Scholar and Research Scholar/Professor categories will not be able to return to the U.S. as a J Scholar for a two year period upon conclusion of their program. When a J Scholar either concludes or leaves a J-1 program, whichever happens earlier, the scholar's record becomes inactive in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS); thus making it impossible for International Student Affairs to reactivate it. At that point, the 24-Month Bar time starts to accrue.