Are you subject to INA 212(e) due to the J-1 Skills List?

What is INA 212(e)?

Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires J-1 exchange visitors to return to their country of citizenship or last residence for two years before obtaining an H or L visa or permanent residency if they engaged in clinical medical training, received funding from U.S. government or their home country, or their program field is listed on the Skills List for the country of citizenship or last residence.

The Department of State published a list of skills shortage fields by country, which identifies the fields that will trigger application of the two-year home residency requirement for J-1 exchange visitors. See the list here.

There are three steps involved in determining if you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement based on the Skills List. First, you need to find the applicable list. The applicable list is the one that was in effect at the time the exchange visitor initially entered the U.S. in J status. Second, you need to determine the applicable country. The applicable country is the J-1’s country of citizenship unless you residing in another country just prior to entering the U.S. to commence the exchange visitor program. Last, you will determine whether your program field is on the Skills List.

Annotations on Forms IAP-66, DS-2019 or the visa stamps can be inaccurate and misleading. It is imperative to conduct a thorough Skills List analysis to determine if you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement.

AILA Doc. No. 18031939

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about the J-1 Skills List.

Categories: J-1 waiver