Minimum Requirements

J-1 Faculty, Research Scholars & Short-Term Scholars

J-1 Student Interns

  • The exchange visitor must hold at least an undergraduate (bachelors) degree, or equivalent education evaluated by an accredited credential evaluation services (e.g., WES, NACES, ECE).
  • The exchange visitor must have sufficient English proficiency to perform their job or complete their academic program; to navigate daily life in the United States; to read and comprehend program materials; to understand fully their responsibilities, rights, and protections; and to know how to obtain assistance, if necessary.
  • The exchange visitor must have, at minimum, the established financial support to live an adequate lifestyle in the location of the proposed worksite. This support may come from UF or other sources.
  • The exchange visitor must maintain appropriate health insurance coverage as required by federal regulations throughout the entire duration of the J program.
  • The exchange visitor’s appointment to the position is temporary. Tenure-accruing positions are prohibited in the J program.
  • The exchange visitor’s proposed activity must further exchange, mutual enrichment, and linkages between UF and research and educational institutions of other countries.
  • The intern must be currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program at their home university.
  • The J-1 Student Intern Program is not used as basis for employment and must be an integral part of the intern's degree requirements
  • The proposed activity must further interchange, mutual enrichment, and linkages between UF and research and educational institutions of other countries
  • The exchange visitor must have, at a minimum, the established financial support, either from UF or other sources, to live an adequate lifestyle in the location of the proposed worksite
  • The exchange visitor must maintain the insurance coverage that is required by federal regulations throughout the duration of the applicable J program

Funding Requirements

The University of Florida has minimum funding requirements for all exchange visitors it sponsors. Sufficient funding for the entire program activity period must be verified by Exchange Visitor Services (EVS) staff before a Form DS-2019 can be issued.

Minimum funding requirements for J exchange visitors are:

Exchange Visitor

$1,500/month

Spouse

$1,000/month

Child

$500/month (per child)

The chart below provides minimum funding requirements for exchange visitors and their dependents for monthly and annual periods:

Exchange Visitor (EV)

EV

EV & Spouse

EV, Spouse & 1 Child

EV, Spouse & 2 Children

EV &
1 Child

EV & 2 Children

Per Month

$1,500

$2,500

$3,000

$3,500

$2,000

$2,500

Per Year

$18,000

$30,000

$36,000

$42,000

$24,000

$30,000

 

Additional Provisions to the J-1 Program

12-Month Repeat Participation Bar (12-Month Bar)

This affects an exchange visitor’s eligibility for Research Scholar and Professor J-1 categories.  It applies to visitors in all J-1 categories except Short-Term Scholar.

Individuals in a U.S. exchange visitor program for more than six (6) months cannot return to the U.S. using the Research Scholar or Professor J-1 categories for a 12-month period following the official program end date noted on their Form DS-2019.  This bar applies to both principal J-1 exchange visitors and any J-2 dependents, and cannot be waived.

24-Month Repeat Participation Bar (24-Month Bar)

This affects an exchange visitor’s eligibility for Research Scholar and Professor J-1 categories.  It applies to exchange visitors in Research Scholar and Professor J-1 categories, regardless of the length of time spent in these categories.

Individuals in an U.S. exchange visitor program in either Research Scholar or Professor J-1 categories cannot return to the U.S. using either category for a 24-month period following the official program end date noted on their Form DS-2019.  This bar applies to both principal J-1 exchange visitors and any J-2 dependents, and cannot be waived.

These restrictions do not prevent returning to the U.S. in other visa categories, such as  B-1 (business), B-2 (tourist), F, etc., or the J-1 categories of Student/Non-Degree Student, Student Intern, or Short-Term Scholar.

212(e) 2-Year Home Residency Requirement [“212(e) Rule”]

The 212(e) is separate and different from the 12- and 24-month bars, and may apply to exchange visitors in any J-1 category. If the J-1 exchange visitor is subject to the rule, any of related J-2 dependents are also subject to the rule. It is also known as the foreign residence requirement under U.S. law, or the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e).

This rule affects an exchange visitor’s eligibility for other types of U.S. visas during and after their J-1 program. It applies to some, but not all, exchange visitors depending on a variety of factors.

If an exchange visitor is unable to return to their home country/country of residence, or wishes to waive the requirement, they must submit a waiver and obtain approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

If an exchange visitor is subject:

  • They will not be able to change from the J-1 visa status while in the U.S.
  • They will not be eligible for H-1B, L, K, or immigrant visa status until they have physically resided in their country of residence for at least two (2) years, or have it successfully waived.

Exchange visitors may be subjected to the 212(e) requirement if

The exchange visitor’s area of study/field of research is included on their country’s Skills List*. This is determined by the subject/field code, as listed in Section 4 of the Form DS-2019.

The exchange visitor’s program was supported in full or part, directly or indirectly by a government agency or certain international organizations.

The exchange visitor is participating in a graduate medical education or training program sponsored by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

*Not all countries have a 212(e) Skills List. If an exchange visitor’s country does not appear on the list, there is no requirement to return to their country after their J program.

** If an exchange visitor has received public funds toward their exchange program, the 212(e) rule may apply.

NOTE: The Skills List requirement applies to an exchange visitor’s country of citizenship/nationality as shown on their passport, unless their nationality is different from the country of their last legal permanent residence at the time they obtained J-1 visa status. In these situations, they must reference the Skills List of the country of their last legal permanent residence.

212(e) Waiver

Exchange visitors are responsible for their 212(e) waiver process; UFIC and EVS staff is not able to advise on this process.

Eligibility, processes and additional information on applying for a 212(e) waiver can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Once an exchange visitor’s 212(e) waiver is approved, UFIC/EVS is unable to provide the following:

Further extensions of Form DS-2019

A SEVIS-to-SEVIS transfer of J-1 status/SEVIS record to another U.S. institution

NOTE: The above actions are permitted if the 212(e) waiver is filed and in-progress, but not yet complete. The restrictions take effect only once the waiver is approved.

U.S. Embassy or Consulate General visa officers determine if an exchange visitor is subject to the 212(e) requirement. Normally, the adjudicating officer will note if an exchange visitor “IS” or “IS NOT” subject on their Form DS-2019 during the visa interview. This notation is found below Section 8, in the box labeled “Preliminary Endorsement of Consular or Immigration Officer Regarding Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and PL. 94-484, as amended.” In addition, “Bearer is subject/not subject” is often printed on the issued J visa.

For questions about 212(e) applicability, contact a visa section representative at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Do not assume the 212(e) notation on the Form DS-2019 or J visa is automatically correct. Errors are common, and the presence or lack of notation does not always indicate if an exchange visitor is subject to the 212(e) requirement. In addition to the possibility of human error, there may be changes to regulations or demand affecting a country’s Skills List. An exchange visitor may request official determination through the Advisory Opinion process.

If an exchange visitor is subject to the 212(e), they cannot:

Change to another visa status while remaining inside the U.S. (“in-country change-of-status”). This restriction excludes A, G, T, and U visa statuses.

Obtain an H (work), L (intracompany transferee), or K (fiancé) visa, or file for a lawful permanent resident status (Green Card).

An active 212(e) requirement does not prevent a foreign national from returning the U.S. through many other visa categories (exclusions listed above). It also does not prevent applications to change visa statuses through U.S. Embassies or Consulates outside the U.S.