2 Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement

Some J Exchange Visitors are subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Requirement also known as the 212(e) requirement.

Who is subject to the requirement?

J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents (legal spouse and children under age 21) who meet at least one of the criteria below are subject to  212(e):

  1. Home Government Funding. J Exchange Visitors who receive funding directly  from their home country’s government.
  1. U.S. Government Funding. J Exchange Visitors who receive funding directly  from the U.S. government.
  1. Funding from an International Organization or Government Funded Organization. J Exchange Visitors who receive funding from International Organizations or organizations that receive their funding from government sources.
  1. The Exchange Visitor Skills List. J Exchange Visitors whose area of specialization has been identified as being necessary for the development of their home country.
  1. Medical Education and Training. All J Exchange Visitors who are alien physicians who come to the U.S. to receive graduate medical education and/or training are subject to 212(e).

For additional information about eligibility for this 212(e) requirement visit the U.S. Department of State website

Are J-2 Dependents subject to this requirement?

If you are the J-2 dependent of a J-1 Exchange Visitor who is subject to the 212(e) requirement you are also subject to this requirement.

Does the 212(e) requirement apply to me?

If any of the above statements are correct, you are subject. You can find evidence of this requirement printed on your visa or your DS-2019.

What is the impact of the 212(e) requirement?

When you  are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, you must reside and be physically present in your home country for a cumulative period of two years before you can do any of the following:

  • Change status while in the United States to another nonimmigrant category;
  • Adjust status while in the United States to immigrant visa/lawful permanent resident status (LPR);
  • Receive an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate; or
  • Receive a temporary worker (H), intracompany transferee (L), or fiancé (K) visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.