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Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

The Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement [212(e)] applies to some J-1 visa holders. After completion of a J-1 program, the scholar may be required to reside in the home country for a minimum of two years before being eligible for the following:  H, L, or K visa classification, U.S. permanent residency, or filing a change of status petition from within the U.S. to any other visa classifcation. If the J-1 is subject to this requirement, the J-2 is as well. 

212(e), when it is applied, is noted on the DS 2019 signed by the US consular authorities at the time the entry visa is issued. It's also indicated on the entry visa itself. If you're a Canadian citizen, you are exempt from the entry visa, and your DS 2019 isn't marked to indicate liability under 212(e).

You may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement if:

  • You receive any funding from your home country government (including travel grants etc.).
  • Your field is on the U.S. government‘s Exchange Visitor’s "Skills List.”
  • All Fulbright participants, as well as medical trainees sponsored by ECFMG are subject to the requirement.

Near the end or after the completion of your J program you may find it necessary to apply for a waiver of the requirement. Keep in mind that once you have submitted the waiver application, Stanford cannot extend your stay as a J-1 scholar.

The Bechtel International Center does not facilitate or process waiver applications. However, if you plan to apply for a waiver well in advance of completing your program, we encourage you to have a discussion with your supervisor or Principal Investigator about the implications of being unable to extend your J-1 status.If it becomes necessary to change your visa status to H-1, for example, your PI may have to change the source or type of your funding, and will have to pay thousands of dollars in filing and other fees.