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In the U.S., J-1 visa can be subject to a two-year home residency requirement (212e) if sponsored by a US or foreign government agency.

Does this apply to postdoctoral researchers employed at a US university if they are funded by a fellowship of the National Science Foundation (NSF) or a similar foreign national science foundation? Or does this only apply to bilateral government-funded exchange programs?

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    Do your DS-2019 and/or J-1 visa say anything about being subject or not subject to INA 212(e)?
    – user102008
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 18:11
  • This is a hypothetical question.
    – user449277
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 18:52
  • You also need to check your country's skills list. Check this page, about halfway down. The link in that section lists various skills. I didn't look farther to try to find the lists for a particular country.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 15:19

1 Answer 1

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The requirement is specified here (8 USC 1182(e)). The first condition leading to mandatory return is

(i) whose participation in the program for which he came to the United States was financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by an agency of the Government of the United States or by the government of the country of his nationality or his last residence,

thus a person sponsored by the Norwegian Research Council would also have to return, irrespective of any cooperation. But a person sponsored by Chase Bank (in the US) or Sparebank (in Norway) would not be subject to thatrequirement. NFR and NSF are at least indirectly financed in part by agencies of their respective national governments, and it is not limited to e.g. Fulbright exchange. The requirement also holds irrespective of funding, in the case of admission to pursue medicine, or if the director of USIA had designated as clearly requiring the services of persons in the person's field of specialized knowledge.

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  • Very helpful, thank you! So that would mean that a person on a postdoctoral fellowship by the NSF or Norwegian Research Council would be subject to the requirement (but a postdoc funded through an NSF/NIH grant to a Principal Investigator at a US host instituition would not, so long as the grant is not to their name). Would you agree with that interpretation?
    – user449277
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 17:40
  • In short: If unwilling to risk being subject to 212e, a postdoc should never seek direct government funding. Is that correct or are there important exceptions?
    – user449277
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 17:40
  • Even indirect (federal) government funding makes one subject to the rule. "Was financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly", it does not have to do with who the PI is.
    – user6726
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 18:42

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