INA 212(e), or "Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement"

The Two Year Home Residency Requirement is often referred as the 212(e). Only the U.S. Department of State can determine if a J-1 and/or J-2 is subject to the 212(e). If subject, a J-visa holder will have to physically reside within their last country of legal permanent residence for two years before s/he may return to the U.S. as an H-1B visa holder, L visa holder, K visa holder or as a Permanent Resident.  If subject, J-visitors are unable to apply for a change of status within the USA.  Being "subject" to this regulation does not prevent a visitor from returning to the U.S. in another visa status, such as F-1 (student), B1/B2 (tourist/business) or under the visa waiver program.

There are three reasons a J-1 visitor may be subject to the 212(e):
• J-1 program is funded in part or wholly by the United States government, the visitor's government, or an international organization.
• the J-1 program is engaged in one or more of the skills listed on the Exchange Visitor Skills List (1997 Amendment) for his/her country.
• the J-1 visa holder is receiving graduate medical education or training.

For more information on J-1 two-year requirement, visit the Department of State website.