The ABC's of Immigration: J-1 Visas - Waivers of the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement


Over the past two newsletters, we’ve discussed both a general overview of the J-1 visa, as well as the procedures to establishing such a visa program. This issue’s installment continues by covering a stringent requirement that has become quite a dilemma for a large number of J-1 recipients. Many people who come to the US as J-1 Exchange Visitors are subject to a requirement that precludes them from changing to many other major non immigrant visa categories or adjusting to permanent resident status unless they have spent two years after completing their stays in J-1 status in their home country, or country of last permanent residence.

The IAP-66 Form or SEVIS Form DS-2019 issued by a J-1 program sponsor provides for a consular or immigration official to make a preliminary determination regarding the applicability of the home residency requirement. This determination may also be stamped or written next to the visa stays in the passport. Note, however, that this determination is only preliminary and should not necessarily be relied on without carefully reviewing with an attorney whether the J-1 visa holder falls into one of three exclusion categories.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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