J-1 Visa Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement
Alien is inadmissible (under this ground) if and only if:
1. The alien applies for permanent residence, H or L visa status.
2. At the time of application, the alien has not resided in alien's
country for at least two years following departure
from the U.S.
Residing includes physically presence.
The two years period can be continuous or aggregate.
3. (i) Alien's participation in the J-1 program for which he came to the United States was financed by an agency of the Government of the U.S. or by the government of the country of his nationality or his last residence.
The program is considered financed by government regardless whether it was financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly.
(ii) At the time of admission or acquisition of J-1 status alien's country/services/skills combination was included in the Exchange Visitor Skill List (designated by Bureau of Consular Affairs of U.S. DOS).
Alien's country means country of nationality or permanent residence.
Alien's sevices mean the services of persons engaged in the field of specialized knowledge.
Alien's skills mean the skills in which the alien was engaged.
To be included in the Exchange Visitor Skill List, the country must
be designated as clearly requiring alien's services or skills.
Designation is pursuant to regulations prescribed by U.S. DOS.
(iii) Alien came to the U.S. or acquired J-1 status on or after January 10, 1977 in order to receive graduate medical education or training.
FILING DATE RESTRICTIONS: None.
Under INA 212(e) –
1. Exceptional Hardship. If alien's departure from the U.S. would
impose exceptional hardship upon the alien's spouse or
child (if such spouse or child is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident).
2. Persecution. If the alien cannot return to the country of his nationality or last residence because he would be subject to persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion.
3. Public Interest. If:
The alien's admission to the U.S. is in the public interest if and only if a U.S. government agency requests a waiver directly from the Bureau of Consular Affairs on behalf of the alien because alien is engaged in a project of official interest to the agency.
5. Health Manpower Shortage Areas (HMSA). If a state of the U.S. sponsors alien to work as a physician in a health manpower shortage area within the state for three years as a nonimmigrant in H-1B status.
A state of the U.S. can sponsor alien through the state office of public health (or its equivalent).GENERAL WAIVERS
The state request is submitted to the director of the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
If alien is granted the waiver, alien must agree to begin the employment with the state within 90 days of receiving the waiver.