The Exchange Visitor Program (J-visa program) has the general purpose of promoting international educational and cultural exchange to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. As a non-immigrant visa type, all exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.
Home Residency Requirement
Individuals who participate in the exchange visitor program may become subject to the home-country physical presence requirement, sometimes referred to as “212(e).” If you become subject to this requirement, it will be documented on your DS-2019 and or J-1 visa. Individuals who are subject are required to remain in their home country or country of permanent residency for at least two years after completing the J-1 program before being eligible to return to the Unitd States in certain immigration categories such as H-1B.
Traveling to the United States
Be sure when traveling to the United States that you keep your passport and DS-2019 in your carry-on luggage. Do not put your DS-2019 in a checked bag! You will need to show your DS-2019, passport, and visa to the officer at the border. It also recommended that you keep your offer letter with your other important documents in case the officer requests to review it.
Rules and Regulations
The Department of State’s brochure on the J-1 program includes important rules and regulations regarding your J-1 status. Browse brochure for more details.