Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

The requirement that an exchange visitor, and any accompanying spouse and dependents, who are within the purview of section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, or Public Law 94-484 (substantially quoted in 22 CFR 41.63), must reside and be physically present in the country of nationality or last legal permanent residence for an aggregate of at least two years following departure from the United States before the exchange visitor is eligible to apply for:

Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and PL-94-484, as amended

Rule: Exchange visitors whose programs are financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly by either their government or by the U.S. Government, are required to reside in their home country for two years following completion of their program before they are eligible for immigrant status, temporary worker (H) status, or intracompany transferee (L) status. Likewise, if exchange visitors are acquiring a skill that is in short supply in their home country (these skills appear on the "Exchange Visitor Skills List") they will be subject to the same Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement. The requirement also is applicable to alien physicians entering the United States to receive graduate medical education or training. The Department of State reserves the right to make the final determination regarding 212(e).

Note: Once an exchange visitor is subject to the 212(e) requirement, he/she is always subject. Initially, if an exchange visitor is not required to meet this requirement, but updates his or her program, it is possible that the updated program information will now make it necessary for the exchange visitor to meet the 212(e) requirement.

Note: Marriage to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, or birth of a child in the United States does not remove this requirement.

212(e) and the Form DS-2019

When an exchange visitor is subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement and the appropriate information is entered into SEVIS, the 212(e) information will print in the appropriate section of the Form DS-2019. The following will trigger the 212(e) indicator in SEVIS: