U.S. Visas

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Study & Exchange

Exchange Visitor Skills List - 2009

About the Skills List

The Exchange Visitor Skills List contains fields of specialized knowledge and skills.  They are necessary for the development of an exchange visitor's home country. You are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement when you complete your exchange visitor program - if your skill is on your country’s Skills List. This requires you to return to your home country for two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. This requirement is in Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.

Skills List By Country

Note: What if your country is not on this list? You are not required to return to your home country for two years at the end of your program, based on the skills list.


How to use this list

  1. First, check if your country has a Skills List. Select the country of citizenship or nationality in your passport on the Skills List by Country page.

    Does your country of citizenship or nationality differ from the country you lived in when you received your Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa? If you had permanent residence in that country, you must use the Skills List for that country.

    • Yes, my country has a Skills List: Go to Step 2, below.

    • No, my country does not have a Skills List: You are not subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement on the basis of the Skills List. (You may still be subject to the two-year requirement if your program was government-funded or if you received graduate medical education or training.)

       
  2. Next, find your field of knowledge/skill on the Master Skills List. Search for your field of knowledge/skill, not for your Subject/Field Code number.

    If your field of knowledge/skill is not listed, find the broader, more general subject group that it falls under. Every field of knowledge/skill is listed on the Master Skills List or is part of a broader, more general subject group.


  3. Is your field of knowledge or skill on your country’s skills list?

    • Yes my field of knowledge/skill is on my country’s list: You are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement.

    • No, my field of knowledge/skill is not on my country’s list: You are not subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement on the basis of the Skills List. (You may still be subject to the two-year requirement if your program was government-funded or if you received graduate medical education or training.)
       

 

Effective Date – Which Skills List Applies?

The 2009 Skills List applies to exchange visitors who receive J-1 visa on or after June 28, 2009. It applies only to countries on the 2009 Skills List. 

Did you enter the United States before June 28, 2009? Look at the skills list that was in effect when you received your J-1 visa.  Is that country still on the 2009 Skills List? If it is not, you are not subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, based on the Skills List.