Information for J-1 Short-Term and Research Scholars
As a J-1 short-term or research scholar, you are part of the Exchange Visitor Program which was designed to promote “global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.” (Department of State)
The two-year home-country physical presence requirement, referenced above, applies to exchange visitors who:
If you are subject to the two-year requirement, it does not mean you are not allowed to return to the US or to leave your home country. Rather, you will not be eligible to immigrate to the US or apply for certain non-immigrant visas until you have fulfilled the requirement. Additional details are available from the Department of State.