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What is the 2-year J-1 visa home country residency requirement?

By December 9, 2020September 17th, 2021Immigration
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Participants of some J-1 visa programs are subject to a 2 year home residency requirement. This means, that the J-1 visa participants will have to return to their home country for at least 2 years after the completion of the exchange visitor program before they are able to obtain a green card or certain non-immigrant visas.

Who is subject to the 2-year home country residency requirement?

However, you can still apply for the following visas even if you are subject to the 2 year home requirement:

Please see more about the J-1 Visa here.

Does this mean that I cannot visit the U.S. for 2 years?

No. You can still visit the U.S. for example as a B-2 tourist visitor after your J-1 program finished.

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This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Until you comply either with the 2 year home country residence requirement or until you obtain a waiver, you cannot:

  • Apply for a Green card;
  • Apply for an Immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad;
  • Apply for an H-1 or L-1 visa;
  • Change status in the U.S. to H-1 or L-1 category;
  • H-4 or L-2;
  • K-1 fiancé visa.

However, you can still apply for the following visas even if you are subject to the 2 year home requirement:

Please see more about the J-1 Visa here.

Does this mean that I cannot visit the U.S. for 2 years?

No. You can still visit the U.S. for example as a B-2 tourist visitor after your J-1 program finished.

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FREE Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free Visa Guide (E-1, E-2, TN, EB-5, H-1B, L-1, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1, E-3), sign up for our free Webinar, join our Facebook Group, or watch our videos.

Download FREE Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our Webinar
Join Our Facebook Group
Watch Our Videos

Set up a Visa or Green Card Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

On the other hand, if you are a national of France but before you entered the U.S. you had been living for 5 years in Germany (and you are also a permanent residence of Germany), then you would have to spend the 24 months in Germany.

  • Apply for a waiver (BLOG POST TO FOLLOW)

Until you comply either with the 2 year home country residence requirement or until you obtain a waiver, you cannot:

  • Apply for a Green card;
  • Apply for an Immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad;
  • Apply for an H-1 or L-1 visa;
  • Change status in the U.S. to H-1 or L-1 category;
  • H-4 or L-2;
  • K-1 fiancé visa.

However, you can still apply for the following visas even if you are subject to the 2 year home requirement:

Please see more about the J-1 Visa here.

Does this mean that I cannot visit the U.S. for 2 years?

No. You can still visit the U.S. for example as a B-2 tourist visitor after your J-1 program finished.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

FREE Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free Visa Guide (E-1, E-2, TN, EB-5, H-1B, L-1, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1, E-3), sign up for our free Webinar, join our Facebook Group, or watch our videos.

Download FREE Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our Webinar
Join Our Facebook Group
Watch Our Videos

Set up a Visa or Green Card Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

If you are subject to the 2-year home country residency requirement you can either:

  • Return to your home country or the country where you permanently resided before you entered the U.S. on a J-1 visa and spend there at least 2 years.

Please note that the 2 years are counted as an aggregate and you don’t have to reside in your home country for 2 years continuously.

Example:

You are a national of France. You are subject to the 2 year home country residency requirement and after your J-1 program finished, you came back home to France. You spent 12 months in France, then you moved to Bali for 4 months, and then came back to France and spent there another 12 months. This is completely fine, and you will satisfy with the 2 year home residency requirement in this scenario as it is not required that you reside in France for 24 consecutive months.

Please note that if you are a national of France and you resided in France before you entered the U.S. on a J-1 visa, then you will have to reside for 24 months in France.

On the other hand, if you are a national of France but before you entered the U.S. you had been living for 5 years in Germany (and you are also a permanent residence of Germany), then you would have to spend the 24 months in Germany.

  • Apply for a waiver (BLOG POST TO FOLLOW)

Until you comply either with the 2 year home country residence requirement or until you obtain a waiver, you cannot:

  • Apply for a Green card;
  • Apply for an Immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad;
  • Apply for an H-1 or L-1 visa;
  • Change status in the U.S. to H-1 or L-1 category;
  • H-4 or L-2;
  • K-1 fiancé visa.

However, you can still apply for the following visas even if you are subject to the 2 year home requirement:

Please see more about the J-1 Visa here.

Does this mean that I cannot visit the U.S. for 2 years?

No. You can still visit the U.S. for example as a B-2 tourist visitor after your J-1 program finished.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

FREE Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free Visa Guide (E-1, E-2, TN, EB-5, H-1B, L-1, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1, E-3), sign up for our free Webinar, join our Facebook Group, or watch our videos.

Download FREE Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our Webinar
Join Our Facebook Group
Watch Our Videos

Set up a Visa or Green Card Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Not all J-1 program participants are subject to the 2-year home country residency requirement. You are subject to this requirement if:

  1. Your J-1 program was financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by the U.S. government or your home country government/the government of country of your last permanent residence;
  2. At the time you came to the U.S., you were a national/permanent resident of a country that listed your J-1 position on the “Visitor Skills list”;
  3. You came to the U.S. to receive graduate medical education or training.

What does it mean that I am subject to the 2 year J-1 visa requirement?

If you are subject to the 2-year home country residency requirement you can either:

  • Return to your home country or the country where you permanently resided before you entered the U.S. on a J-1 visa and spend there at least 2 years.

Please note that the 2 years are counted as an aggregate and you don’t have to reside in your home country for 2 years continuously.

Example:

You are a national of France. You are subject to the 2 year home country residency requirement and after your J-1 program finished, you came back home to France. You spent 12 months in France, then you moved to Bali for 4 months, and then came back to France and spent there another 12 months. This is completely fine, and you will satisfy with the 2 year home residency requirement in this scenario as it is not required that you reside in France for 24 consecutive months.

Please note that if you are a national of France and you resided in France before you entered the U.S. on a J-1 visa, then you will have to reside for 24 months in France.

On the other hand, if you are a national of France but before you entered the U.S. you had been living for 5 years in Germany (and you are also a permanent residence of Germany), then you would have to spend the 24 months in Germany.

  • Apply for a waiver (BLOG POST TO FOLLOW)

Until you comply either with the 2 year home country residence requirement or until you obtain a waiver, you cannot:

  • Apply for a Green card;
  • Apply for an Immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad;
  • Apply for an H-1 or L-1 visa;
  • Change status in the U.S. to H-1 or L-1 category;
  • H-4 or L-2;
  • K-1 fiancé visa.

However, you can still apply for the following visas even if you are subject to the 2 year home requirement:

Please see more about the J-1 Visa here.

Does this mean that I cannot visit the U.S. for 2 years?

No. You can still visit the U.S. for example as a B-2 tourist visitor after your J-1 program finished.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

FREE Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free Visa Guide (E-1, E-2, TN, EB-5, H-1B, L-1, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1, E-3), sign up for our free Webinar, join our Facebook Group, or watch our videos.

Download FREE Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our Webinar
Join Our Facebook Group
Watch Our Videos

Set up a Visa or Green Card Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

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