What is the 2 Year Rule or 212(e)?

Under specific circumstances, J-1 and J-2 status holders may incur a two-year home physical presence requirement. If subject to the rule, this means that he/she is not eligible to change to H, L or Permanent Residency (PR) classification without first returning to the home country for a total of 2 years. A waiver of this requirement can be applied for and obtained in specific circumstances. If the two year rule applies, changing status from J to another non-immigrant classification (such as F-1) in the United States is prohibited. The Two Year Rule does NOT prohibit one from returning to the U.S. in any classification other than H, L, or PR.