Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement

A close-up of a few international flags.

In certain cases, an Exchange Visitor may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement based on the following conditions:

  • if the EV's financial support comes totally, or in part, from the U.S. government, the home country government, or certain international organizations (i.e. WHO, UNICEF, PAHO, etc.); or
  • if the EV's field of specialization and home country are included on the Exchange Visitor Skills List. This list includes countries which have shortages of trained professionals in specific fields of specialization.
  • if the EV is pursuing a graduate medical fellowship sponsored by the Educational Commission of Foreign Medical Graduate (ECFMG).

Those who are subject to this requirement are not eligible to:

  • Change to another nonimmigrant visa status (except A [diplomat], or G [representative to an international organization]);
  • To adjust status to permanent resident;
  • To apply for an H, L or permanent resident visa;
  • To obtain an Advance Parole, until they return to their home country for an aggregate period of two years, or until they receive a waiver of the requirement.

The U.S. Embassy or Consulate makes a determination at the time of visa issuance, and the USCIS acting on behalf of the U.S. State Department determines the applicability of this requirement to an EV's program upon entry into the United States.

EVs who become subject, but do not wish to comply with the residence requirement may apply for a waiver from the U.S. Department of State during or after the completion of the program.

*For more Information and guidelines please visit the U.S. Department of State. OISS will not be involved with the process of waiver application of EVs in any form. If an EV’s waiver application is approved by the Department of State or USCIS, OISS will no longer issue a DS-2019 extension for a current EV.