Exchange Visitor Restrictions
12 Month Bar After Previous J Participation:
Under the 12-month bar provision of 22 C.F.R. § 62.20(d)(2) an alien can be selected for participation as a Professor or Research Scholar only if:
The participant has not been physically present in the United States as a nonimmigrant pursuant to the provisions of 8 U.S.C. 1101(J) for all or part of the twelve month period immediately preceding the date of program commencement set forth on his or her Form DS-2019 unless:
- The participant is transferring to the sponsor's program pursuant to provisions set forth in § 62.42; or
- The participant's presence in the United States was of less than six months duration, or
- The participant's presence in the United States was pursuant to a Short-term scholar exchange activity as authorized by § 62.21.
24 Month Bar on Repeat Participation for J-1 Professor and Research Scholars:
Effective since 2006, an individual who participates in the Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar becomes subject to a 24-month bar on "repeat participation" in those categories after completing his or her program. Under DOS's interpretation, the 24-month bar applies under two circumstances:
If the Professor or Research Scholar completes a full five years of program participation with one or more sponsors; or
If, before the full five-year period is over, the Professor or Research Scholar completes his or her program. In this case, the continuity of the five-year period is broken, the five-year window is "closed," the individual is not eligible to access the remaining unused time, and the individual must wait for two years before beginning a new program as a J Professor or Research Scholar.
Home Residency Requirement 212(e):
J scholars and professors may be subject to the 8 U.S.C. § 1182 bar (commonly known
as the “212 (e) home residence requirement”), which mandates that certain J-visa holders
return to their country of nationality or last residence for an aggregate of two years
after departure from the U.S., before applying for permanent residence or an H or
L visa or for a change of status inside the U.S. to most other non-immigrant classifications.
The requirement applies to those whose:
exchange visitor program has been financed in whole or part by the U.S. or their home government
skills are needed by their home country as indicated on the “Exchange Visitor Skills List” created by Department of State
purpose in coming to the U.S. is to receive graduate medical education or training
- status as a J-2 dependent is tied to a J-1 exchange visitor subject to 212(e)