Two Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

You and your J-2 dependents may be subject to a two-year home country physical presence requirement, also known as “212(e)” based on its section reference within the Immigration and Nationality Act.  When subject to this requirement, you and your J-2 dependents must return to your home country and physically reside for two years following the completion of your Exchange Visitor (EV) program. The intent is for your home country to benefit from your experience in the United States.

Two restrictions apply when you are subject to 212(e):

This requirement applies to all J-1 EVs who:


Waivers of the two-year home country physical presence requirement

You may apply to have your two-year home country physical presence requirement waived. ISSS does not recommend your department be involved in the waiver process, unless information is requested by the Waiver Review Division of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. The Waiver Review Branch of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has online instructions for the waiver application.

There are five grounds for a waiver of the 212(e) requirement:

Please note: The information above is to assist you in understanding the nature of the two-year home country physical presence requirement and how to seek a waiver if you are subject to this requirement. It is provided for informational purposes only. It is not uncommon for some J-1 EVs to question whether or not they are subject to 212(e).  In such matters you should seek an Advisory Opinion from the Waiver Review Division.