Important Regulations Unique to the J Visa
Twelve month bar to J Research Scholar or Professor Category
The visitor is not eligible for program participation as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor if s/he has been physically present in the United States in J-1 or J-2 status for six months or more in the 12-month period immediately preceding the proposed DS-2019 start date, unless the participant is transferring to the University of Minnesota, or the participant’s presence in the United States was as a J-1 Short-Term Scholar. Visitors who are subject to the 12-month bar are not eligible to begin a new program as a Research Scholar or Professor, until 12 months have passed since they were physically present in the U.S.A. on any J status. However, they are eligible to come as J-1 Short Term Scholars or on other visa types.
Two Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement Requirement - 212e (commonly referred to as the 2-Year Rule)
The statute requires exchangevisitors (and dependents) who are subject to the 2 Year Rule to return to their "home" countries and be physically present there for a total of two years before being eligible to return to the United States in immigrant (permanent residence/green card) status, H status (temporary workers and dependents), or L status (intra-company transferees and dependents).
Not all exchange visitors are subject to the 2-Year Rule. There are three grounds on which an exchange visitor can become subject:
The exchange visitor who currently holds J–1 Status and is subject to the 2–year rule is also not eligible for change of status to any non–immigrant status without leaving the United States.
Waiver of 212e (2 Year Rule)
An exchange visitor may request that the 2-year home country physical presence requirement be waived only on the following bases:
For more information on how to apply for a waiver, go to the Department of State.
Exchange Visitors have a new 24-month (two years) bar on repeat participation in the J-1 Professor or Research Scholar categories.
Any exchange visitor who comes to the U.S. for any length of time in the Professor or Research Scholar categories will not be able to come back to the U.S. in the Professor or Research Scholar categories for a period of two years, once his/her J-1 program has ended (or become “inactive” in SEVIS).
24-Month Bar vs. the 2-Year Rule (212e):
The new 24-Month Bar should not be confused with the 2-Year Rule (212e). These are two completely different regulations:
Insurance Requirements for J-1 Scholars and their J-2 dependents
J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents must carry health insurance to meet the requirements of their visa status under regulations of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Health insurance must be maintained from the day scholars arrive in the U.S. through the entire duration of their J-1 program. If dependents will join the scholar after the scholar has already started his program at the University, the scholar is required to purchase SHBP coverage for them at the time they arrive. Coverage continues as long as the scholar and his/her dependents meet criteria for eligibility.
In addition, the University of Minnesota requires all international Scholars on J-1 visas and their eligible J-2 dependents to enroll in the University sponsored Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). The SHBP enables scholars and eligible dependents to receive most services at Boynton Health Service at no cost and have coverage for services outside of Boynton covered at 80% of eligible expenses.
International scholars and their eligible dependents cannot waive the University of Minnesota coverage, except when: