Congratulations on completing your exchange program! Please check the date on your DS-2019 document to be sure that it accurately reflects your program end.
There is a 30 day window for J-1 scholars following your program called the “grace period.” During the grace period, J-1 scholars can:
All other actions, such as extending your program or transferring to another institution for work or research, must be completed BEFORE the end date on your DS-2019.
J-1 research scholars and professors are generally eligible for 5-year programs. However, there are "Bars" for returning to the U.S. as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor before certain amounts of time have passed.
The J-1 regulations require sponsors to conduct a concluding internship evaluation. All J-1 Student Interns must submit an Intern Evaluation Form prior to departure. Additional evaluations are required for internships lasting more than six months.
Both the student intern and their supervisor must complete and sign the form and it should be uploaded to the Documents section of the intern's ISSS Portal page.
The 12-Month Bar is a law that applies to people who have been, or will be, J-1 Researchers or Professors. The bar states that a scholar who was an Exchange Visitor during the last 12-months of when they want to begin a new J-1 program as a researcher or professor will not be able to do so. (The bar also applies to J-2 dependents.) A candidate may be eligible for Researcher or Professor status only IF s/he has not been physically present in the U.S. as a nonimmigrant for all or part of the 12-month period immediately preceding the start date of the new program, unless one of the following applies:
J-1 scholars should be aware that the government has created a 24-month bar to prevent "repeat participation" in the J-1 Research Scholar and Professor categories. The bar applies under these circumstances:
The 24-month bar is NOT the same thing as the “Two-Year Home Residency Requirement,” which some visitors are subject to because of governmental funding or skills.
Your visa and DS-2019 form will indicate whether or not you are subject to the 212(e) Two-year Home Country Residence Requirement. J-1 scholars are usually subject to 212(e) if they receive government funding to attend their program, or their home government wishes to ensure they return home to share the skills they have learned abroad.
Visitors who are subject to this statute must return to their home countries and be physically present there for two years before being able to return to the U.S. on employment-based visas such as H-1B or L-1.
If you are unsure whether or not you are subject to the 212(e) Two-year Home Country Residence Requirement, check both your visa and DS-2019. They should match and tell you whether or not you are subject.