J-1 Two-Year Home Residence Requirement

Some Exchange Visitors are subject to what is called the two-year home country physical presence requirement. This "two-year residence" requirement applies to you if you receive any funding (including nominal travel grants) from your home government or a U.S. government agency. It also applies to you if trained personnel in your field are identified by your home government as being in short supply and your field has consequently been included on the U.S. government's "Exchange Visitor's Skills List."

The two year residence requirement also applies to persons receiving graduate medical education or training. If you do not know whether your country and/or field appear on the "Exchange Visitor's Skills List," ask your designated RO or ARO or check the Department of State website.

An exchange visitor who is subject to this requirement must reside for an aggregate of two (2) years in his or her country of nationality or last legal permanent residence or have the requirement waived before being eligible for other U.S. immigration statuses, including H, L or permanent resident status. For information about the process of applying for a waiver of this requirement, check this web site at the Department of State.