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Certain J-1 and J-2 Exchange Visitors who either have governmental funding, or whose academic area is considered critical to their home country and thus appears on the “Exchange Visitor Skills List,” may be subject to the two-year home residence requirement.

Exchange Visitors subject to this requirement are required to return to the home country for a period of two years upon completion of the J-1 program.  Those subject to the two-year residence requirement are not eligible to change to any other immigration status within the United States and are not eligible for H-1B temporary worker status or Permanent Resident status until the 2-year rule has been fulfilled or waived.

Further details about the J-1 Exchange Visitor program and the two-year home country residence requirement may be found at Department of State’s website.