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


After their exchange, some J-1 visa holders must spend two years in their home country.  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 for a waiver.  Before you can change status or receive a visa in certain categories, the Department of Homeland Security must approve your waiver.

Eligibility for a Waiver

Review the Eligibility Information about J-1 exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement and determine 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.  Complete this form to request a waiver recommendation 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.