Two Year Physical Presence Requirement (212e)
Certain exchange visitors in J-1 status are not eligible for lawful permanent resident, H temporary worker or trainee, or L intra-company transferee status in the U.S. until they have resided and been physically present in their country of nationality or last legal permanent residence for a total of at least two years following departure from the United States in J status. With certain exceptions for diplomats, they are also not permitted to change non-immigrant status in the United States.
These restrictions apply to exchange visitor in any of the following circumstances:
- A visitor whose participation in the program for which he or she came to the U.S. was financed in whole or part, directly or indirectly, by an agency of the U.S. government or by the government of the country of his or her nationality or last legal permanent residence
- A visitor who, at the time of admission or acquisition of exchange visitor status was a national or resident of a country which according to the U.S. Department of State is designated as clearly requiring the services of persons engaged in the field of specialized knowledge or skill in which the exchange visitor was engaged
- A visitor who came to the U.S. or acquired exchange visitor status in order to receive graduate medical education or training.
Complete an official immigration transfer whenever you change educational institutions. J-1 students and scholars must notify their current institutions of their intent to transfer, obtain a Form DS-2019 from the new institution, and report to the Responsible Officer at the new school by the start date on the new Form DS-2019.