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U.S. Visas

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Study & Exchange

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


Overview

Certain exchange visitors (J-1) are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement which requires you to return to your home country for at least two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. This is also known as the foreign residence requirement under U.S. law, Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e). If you are unable to return to your home country to fulfill the two-year requirement, you must obtain a waiver approved by the Department of Homeland Security prior to changing status in the United States or being issued a visa in certain categories for travel to the United States.

Eligibility for a Waiver

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

How-to-Apply 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 of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement from the Department of State’s Waiver Review Division.

After you apply – Status Check and Contact Updates

Visit the J Visa Waiver Online webpage to notify the Waiver Review Division of a change of address or contact information and to check the status of your waiver request.