212(e), Waivers, Bars

212(e) – Home Residency Requirement

After completing a J-1 program in the US, some J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents are required to live in their home country for a period of two years before they are eligible to apply for immigrant status (US Permanent Residency or “green card”) or work visas (H, L or K). This requirement, also known as the Home Residency Requirement, is meant for the home country to benefit from the scholar’s experience in the US.

212(e) does not apply to all J-1 exchange visitors. If you are subject, there may be a notation on your DS2019 and/or visa. Please note that you may not change to another nonimmigrant status in the US. This requirement applies to you if:

  • You have received funding from the US or your home government;
  • Skills in your subject of research are needed by your home country as noted in the US government's "Exchange Visitor Skills List", or;
  • You have received graduate medical education or training in the US.  

For complete information on the Two Year Residency Requirement, please visit Two-year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement. 

Waiver of 212(e)

Outline of process to apply for a waiver.

To request a waiver of the Two Year Requirement, you must file a DS-3035 form. 

Do not apply for a waiver unless you have guaranteed plans for H, L, K, or permanent residence status. Once you receive a recommendation for the waiver, you CANNOT extend or transfer your J-1 status.


The 12- and 24-month bars determine when a J-1 exchange Research Scholar or Professor is eligible for a second visit to the US.

 J-1 Professors or Research Scholars are barred from participation in the same category for two years or 24 months from the end date of their programs. For example, a Research Scholar with program dates of August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019 will not be able to return as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor until July 31, 2021. This also applies to J-2 dependents. This is a different rule from 212(e), the two-year home residency requirement. The bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the United States in any other visa status.

J-1 regulations also state that scholars and dependents who participated in a J program for more than six months are not eligible to return to the US as a Research scholar or Professor until 12 months after exit from the US.  Time spent in the J-1 Short-term Scholar category does not count towards the 12-month bar. The 12-month bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the United States in any other visa status.