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The two 2- year rules confusion explained

Monday, November 25, 2013 by

J1 Visa Regulations screenshot

J1 Visa Regulations

People often email us towards the end of their existing J1 Trainee program asking if they could re-apply with us.

When we tell them that they have to wait 2 years before they can apply again, they argue that their existing program is not subject to the “2-year rule”.

Well, there are actually two different rules affecting repeat applicants, both of which happen to involve a 2-year period, which is what makes people confused.

Let us explain.

The “2-year rule” which most people talk about, refers to Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is actually called “Two-year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement”, which means that you have to leave the USA and actually spend 2 years back home.

The “other 2-year rule” stems from 22 CFR §62.22(n)(2), i.e. the J1 program regulations, and refers specifically to the period between two consecutive J1 Trainee programs. This one doesn’t require that you spend those two years in your home country, but you have to spend them outside the USA or its territories. Time for another program elsewhere? ;-)

Either way, if you are a J1 Trainee and want to re-apply, you just have to wait 2 years.


Questions? Ask below :-) In English, please.

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