Per Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, certain J-1 scholars who receive J-1 status under the following circumstances are subject to the two-year home residence requirement:

  • the Exchange Visitor received funds from the U.S. government, his/her own government, or an international organization funded by government;
  • the education, training, or skills that the Exchange Visitor is pursuing in the U.S. appear on the Exchange Visitor Skills List for his/her country published by the Department of State.
  • Foreign medical graduates receiving training in the U.S. under the sponsorship of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

EVs who become subject to the Two-year Home Residence Requirement are not eligible to change their visa status from J-1 to the following immigration statuses unless they return and reside in the country of their last permanent residence for two years after completing their programs in the U.S:

  • H (temporary worker)
  • L (intra-company transferee)
  • Immigrant visa/Permanent Residency (Green Card)

In addition, EVs who are subject are not allowed to change their visa type to any other visa type inside of the U.S. For instance, to change to an F-1 student visa, EV would need to leave the U.S. and apply for their F-1 visa at a U.S. embassy prior to beginning their F-1 program.

EVs who become subject, but do not wish to comply with the residence requirement may apply for a waiver from the U.S. Department of State during or after the completion of the program. Information and guidelines are available at Waiver of the Exchange Visitor Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement. The DGSOM Visa and Licensing Office will not be involved with the process of waiver application of EVs in any form.

The DGSOM Visa and Licensing cannot extend a DS-2019 if an EV’s waiver application is approved by the Department of State or USCIS.