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Some Exchange Visitors may be subject to a two-year home residency requirement, also known as 212(e), based on certain government funding or their country’s skills list. If subject to 212(e), you will be required to reside in your home country of legal permanent residence for a period of two years (cumulative) before you can return to the U.S. as a Legal U.S. Permanent Resident, or on an H-1b, K or L visa. The 212(e) rule also prevents anyone subject to 212(e) from changing their immigration status from within the U.S., unless they first obtain a waiver. 

This requirement does not prohibit you returning to the U.S. in another non-immigration status. For example, if you wish to return as a B-2 tourist or an F-1 student without first fulfilling the 212(e), you can. Again, it only impacts a return to the U.S. or a change of status to a U.S. Permanent Resident, or on an H-1b, K or L visa.

EVs and their dependents who meet at least one of the listed conditions below are subject to this rule:

  • Government funded exchange program. You have been funded either directly or indirectly by your government or the U.S. Government.  If you are funded through the University of Utah, this may count as government funding in some situations. Please be aware that Fullbright funding is considered U.S. government funding.
  • Funding from an international organization or binational commission. EV visitors who receive funding from international organizations or binational commissions (organizations that receive their funding from government sources), such as, United Nations, NATO, or the European Community are subject to 212(e).
  • Specialized knowledge or skill. If you have a skill that your country has deemed necessary to the country's development as shown on the Skills List By Country, you are subject to 212(e).
  • Graduate Medical Education (GME) or Training. If you have received graduate medical education or training you are subject to 212(e).

Dependents of an EV who are subject to the 212(e) requirement are also subject to this requirement. Dependents cannot seek a waiver on their own. Dependents who wish to waive their 212(e) must pursue the waiver with the EV.

If you have questions about the 212(e) home residency requirement, we recommend speaking with an immigration attorney. Please understand that the waiver process can vary depending on your country of legal permanent residence, and as a result, the ISSS office does not advise on this issue. You can find detailed instructions for an application of a waiver of 212(e) at U.S. Department of State's website. Keep in mind that the information on your visa stamp, as well as the information on your DS-2019, are often inaccurate. It’s usually best to submit a request for an advisory opinion from the U.S. Department of State as your first step. 


Last Updated: 2/18/20