I am a German graduate student and have been on a research semester at an American university for 6 months with a J-1 visa. I now want to intern in the US for three months but I am worried about the visa since the internship would start only five months after my research semester and I have been told that I am required to return to my home country for two years before being able to apply to another J-1.

The eligibility criteria online however do not seem to state this requirement for German nationals.

Does the J-1 two-year home-country requirement apply to everyone or are certain countries excluded from this rule?

  • 1
    What does the annotation on your visa say? Dec 18, 2016 at 17:01
  • Ahh I wasn't aware there was actually a yes/no annotation for the 2-year residence requirement. It says "no" :)
    – mschrimpf
    Dec 20, 2016 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Regarding the 2-year rule, from the site you quote:

Exchange visitors are generally made aware of this requirement when they agree to participate in exchange visitor programs or at their visa interviews.

However, if you are unsure whether this requirement applies to you or your situation, you should request in writing that the Department of State, Waiver Review Division conduct an advisory opinion.

Whether or not required depends upon details you have not provided us (as also mentioned at the same site). However, my guess is that it does not apply to you.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .