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International Student & Scholar Services

Two Year Home Residency Requirement

Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

As a J-1 exchange visitor, you may be subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, or 212(e). In this case, you must return home for a minimum of two years after completing your J-1 program before you can change or adjust your status to an H, L, or Green Card/U.S. permanent resident.

The home country requirement applies to you if:

1. You received funding from the United States Government, your own government, or an international organization in connection with your participation in the Exchange Visitor Program.
2. The education, training, or skill you are pursuing in this country appears on the Exchange Visitor Skills List for your country.
3. You acquired J-1 status on or after January 10, 1977, for the purpose of receiving graduate medical education or training.

APPLYING FOR A WAIVER:

You may petition to the US State Department for a waiver of this requirement under any of these specific circumstances:

1. "No Objection" from the home government
2. Request by an interested (U.S.) Government agency
3. Risk of persecution in home country
4. Exceptional hardship to a United States citizen (or permanent resident) spouse or child of an exchange visitor
5. Request by a designated State Department of Health, or its equivalent

For more information about these circumstances and the application process, please see the links to the right.

Additional questions can be directed to your J-1 program Responsible Officer.

To check on a pending waiver application:
State Department J-Visa Waiver Status on-line
Waiver Review Public Inquiry Phone Number: (202) 663-1225
Waiver Review FAX number: (202) 663-8666

Waiver inquiries dedicated mail box: 212ewaiver@state.gov