|212 (e), Waivers, Bars
212(e) – 2 Year Home Residency Requirement
Upon completion of an exchange program in the US, certain J scholars are required to live in their home country for a period of two years before they are eligible to apply for immigrant status (US Permanent Residency or “green card”) or work visas (H, L or K). This requirement applies if:
- the exchange visitor's participation in an exchange program was financed, directly or indirectly, by the US government or a foreign government for purpose of exchange
- the skills that the exchange visitor is coming to develop or exercise are in a field which the exchange visitor's "home" government requested be included on the State Department skills list. See the US DOS Skills List
- the exchange visitor comes to the US to receive graduate medical education or training
For complete information on the Two Year Residency Requirement, please find the section titled Two-year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement
Waiver of 212(e)
To request a waiver of the Two Year Requirement, you must file a DS-3035 form, which may be accessed through the Department of State's web site: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/exchange/waiver-of-the-exchange-visitor.html
12 month Bar
Individuals that participated in J program for more than six months are not eligible to enter the US as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor until 12 months after the exit from the US. Time spent in the J-1 Short-term Scholar 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 United States in any other visa status.
24 month Bar
Any individual who participates in an Exchange Visitor program in the Researcher Scholar or Professor category on or after 11/18/06 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 United States as a J-1 scholar in the Research Scholar or 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 Residence Requirement. The 24-month bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the United States in any other visa status.
Impact of the 24-Month Bar
J scholars in the Research Scholar and Professor categories will not be able to return to the US as a J scholar for a 2 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 SEVIS; thus making it impossible for the International Services to reactivate it. At that point, the 24-month bar time starts to accrue.