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The Two-year Home Country Requirement

There are three grounds on which your status as an exchange visitor can become subject to the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(e):

  • If your participation in an exchange program was financed, directly or indirectly by the United States government or a foreign government.
  • If the skills that your are develop or exercise while in the U.S. are in a field that the exchange visitor’s "home" government considerest to be in short supply, and thus has been included on the State Department skills list.
  • The you came to the United States to receive "graduate medical education or training."

If you fall into one of these groups, you are subject to the two-year home country requirement (212)(e), even if your source of funding or field of study changes. If the principal J-1 is subject to the two-year residence requirement, all dependents who enter the U.S. in J-2 status are subject to it as well.