U.S. Visas

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Study & Exchange

Waiver of the Exchange Visitor Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement


Overview

Some exchange visitors with J-1 visas are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement. It requires you to return  home for at least two years after your exchange visitor program. This requirement is part of U.S. law, in the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e). If you cannot return home for two years, you must apply fora waiver. The Department of Homeland Security must approve your waiver before you can change status in the United States or receive a visa in certain categories.

 

Eligibility for a Waiver

Select Eligibility Information about J-1 exchange visitors are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement and whether a waiver is available to you.

Instructions and the J-1 Waiver Recommendation Application

Select Instructions and Online DS-3035 to learn more and access the online form to request a recommendation for a waiver from the Department of State’s Waiver Review Division.

After you apply – Status Check and Contact Updates

Select J Visa Waiver Online to change your address or contact information and to check the status of your waiver.