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J-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


Can the 'Two-Year Rule' be waived?

Yes, you may be able to obtain a J-1 waiver if you are subject to the Two-Year Rule requirement, and thus be eligible to apply for visas normally prohibited for applicants subject to the Two Year Rule.

Waivers of the Two-Year Rule are adjudicated only by the Department of State's Visa Office. This Visa Office is also the final authority on whether an applicant is actually subject to the Rule, regardless of whether it was annotated in your passport or not.

Note: Even if subject to the two year rule, you may still qualify for the issuance of a tourist visa, or any other nonimmigrant visa except for those noted above.

Studying In The U.S. - F, M, and J Visa Options

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What other information is available about J-1 visa eligibility?

Keep in mind that:

  • J-1 exchange visitors must have sufficient scholastic preparation to participate in the designated international student exchange programs, including knowledge of the English language, or the exchange program must be designed to accommodate Non-English speaking participants
  • Exchange visitors coming for graduate medical education or training must:
  • Pass the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in Medical Sciences
  • Demonstrate competency in English
  • Physicians coming to the U.S. on exchange visitor programs for the purpose of observation, consultation, teaching, or research in which there is little or no patient care are subject to the same requirements
  • The holder of an exchange visitor J-1 visa may enter the U.S. up to 90 days before the designated start date on the DS-2019. He or she may remain for up to 30 days following the completion of the program
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