Do the restrictions apply to you?
These restrictions apply to you only if:
- You plan to work as a J-1 research scholar or professor. Restrictions do not affect your eligibility to obtain a visa in another J-1 category, such as short-term scholar, specialist, or student
And if you have:
- Previously completed a J-1 exchange program, or
- Accompanied a J-1 visitor as a dependent J-2 family member
The restrictions apply at any university or institution in the United States, not just WSU.
The 2-year home residency requirement is unrelated to the 12- or 24-month bars. You may be subject to one and not the other.
How long you need to wait
If you plan to enter a J-1 professorship or research scholar program after completing a previous J program, the following wait times apply.
Countdown begins the day after your SEVIS record becomes inactive or terminated. Check your DS-2019 (box number 3) to confirm your dates of participation in a previous program.
|Your current or previous J visa category||Previous J program duration||Wait time for a new J-1 Research Scholar/Professor visa|
|J-1 research scholar/professor||Any amount of time (1 day to 5 years)||24 months|
|Any J-1 category other than research scholar/professor||6 months or more||12 months|
|J-2 dependent of J-1 research scholar/professor||6 months or more|
Less than 6 months
|J-2 dependent of any J-1 category other than research scholar/professor||6 months or more|
Less than 6 months
|Short-term scholar||No wait|
2-year foreign residence requirement
Certain J-1 exchange visitors and J-2 dependents may be subject to a 2-year foreign residence requirement under U.S. Law, Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e).
Until this requirement is fulfilled or waived, those who are subject to 212(e) are restricted from
- Changing status within the U.S., and
- Returning to the U.S. on particular visas (only H, L, K, or permanent resident).
Fulfilling the requirement
To fulfill the 212(e) requirement, subject J-1 scholars or J-2 dependents must accumulate 2 years of time in their country of last permanent residence.
Waiving the requirement
If you must change status in the United States or return on an H, L, K, or permanent resident visa before the requirement can be fulfilled, you may apply for a 212(e) waiver. Waivers will also apply to any J-2 dependents also subject.
You may be eligible for a waiver under several conditions. Information about eligibility and the waiver process can be found on the Department of State website.
Receiving a Department of State recommendation (Statement of No Objection) can impact your current J-1 program. Once the No Objection statement is received, WSU can no longer extend or transfer your J-1 program. You may also be re-subject by traveling abroad and renewing your J-1 visa stamp. It is highly recommended to discuss how a waiver will affect your current J-1 program and timing with an International Scholar advisor before applying.
Reasons to be subject to 212(e)
The 2-year home residence requirment likely applies to you if:
- Your exchange program was financed in full or in part by the U.S. government or your home country government
- A skill identified by your home country government appears in the Exchange Visitor Skills List
- Your purpose in coming to the United States was to receive graduate medical education or training
You may also be subject based on a previous J-1 program that was not fulfilled or due to a current or previous J-2 status.
Exchange visitor alumni group
The Department of State has an alumni group for all exchange visitors. You may receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with information on how to activate your profile. If you do not receive an email and would like to join, visit the alumni group website and make an account inquiry.