A. 12-MONTH BAR: An individual is not eligible to “begin a new program” as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar if s/he was physically present in the US in any J status (including J-2) for all or part of the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of program commencement set forth on the new DS-2019.
Exceptions: 1) transferring to a new program sponsor (within five-year limit) under “transfer by notification” procedures; 2) presence in J status was for less than 6 months; or 3) presence in J status was in short-term scholar category.
B. 2-YEAR BAR: An individual is not eligible for participation as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar for a period of two years following the program end date identified in SEVIS if s/he 1) entered the US as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar (or acquired such status while in the US); AND 2) completed her/his program.
Under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (also called the "two year home residency requirement"), certain Exchange Visitor Program participants and their J-2 family members must return home for at least two years after completing their educational/exchange programs before they can change or adjust to certain nonimmigrant or immigrant statuses.
You will be subject to this requirement if:
(1) your program is financed in any extent by U.S. or home-country government funding; and/or
2) your skills are needed by your home country, as indicated by the Exchange Visitor Skills List.
Grounds for applying for a waiver for this requirement are limited. Consult with the OISS if you have any questions about the implications of the two-year home residency requirement.