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I received J1-visa and was marked as a subject to two-year home-country physical presence rule. At that time I was still a citizen of Kazakhstan.

I moved to Europe (Czech Republic) immediately after J1-visa expiration and became a citizen of CZE, meaning, I can't normally go back to KAZ (home country in J1-visa) in order to fulfill 2-year residence requirement.

I participated in USA-sponsored program. From what I've heard, they don't grant waivers in this case. "The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, provides scholarships for secondary school students (age 15-17) from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend one academic year in the United States."

Does it mean that I am banned forever and cannot immigrate to USA ? How exactly is USA government going to verify the fulfillment of this requirement, e.g. there is a global travel history for every citizen of every country ?

  • I suggest reading travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student/… to see if any of the waiver cases apply to you. – Patricia Shanahan Apr 18 '16 at 14:37
  • I've looked into it before. "No objection" is impossible for government-sponsored programs. "Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency" is the only possibility, but I'm just a normal human being. I hoped that someone in similar situation can share their experience. – John Apr 18 '16 at 17:18
  • How serious is this in practise ? Do they even check it, if visa experied 10+ years ago ? – John Apr 18 '16 at 17:27
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The home country that the 2 years must be spent in is the country of the person's nationality (at the time of admission into J1 status), or the country of the person's permanent residence (at the time of admission into J1 status), if it is different from the country of nationality.

Were you a permanent resident of Czechia (<- now official name ;)) when you went to the US on J1? (Otherwise how did you get Czech citizenship so fast after you returned from the US?) If so, then Czechia is the country you should spend the 2 years in, and not Kazakhstan.

How exactly is USA government going to verify the fulfillment of this requirement

If you were to apply for an H or L visa or permanent residency in the US, the burden would be upon you to prove that you spent at least 2 years in your home country, and not in other countries.

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  • It wasn't in 2010, but much earlier :) Let's just say 10+ years have passed. At the time of J1 application I didn't have permanent residence of Czechia. It specifically says on J1-visa itself, that the rule applies to Kazakhstan. If I apply for green card, how am I supposed to prove those 2-years ? Could it somehow work out without living 2 years in Kazakhstan (perhaps due to the fact that it was long ago) ? – John Apr 18 '16 at 11:53
  • @John While living in a country it is generally easy to collect evidence such as rental agreements, copies of driver's licenses, employment or education history, and tax returns. Presumably someone with a two year residence requirement could file that information for the two years after the end of the J1 to have it available to show for any future US visa application. – Patricia Shanahan Apr 18 '16 at 12:13

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