Instructions for Application for Waiver of the
Foreign Residence Requirement
(Under Section 212(e) of the INA, as Amended)
Department of Homeland Security
OMB No. 1615-0030
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
What Is the Purpose of This Application?
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 212(e) requires certain J-1 and J-2 exchange visitors to return to
their home country or country of last foreign residence for at least two years upon completion of their U.S. training and
departure from the United States before they may apply for an immigrant visa, an adjustment of status, or a change of
status (such as to the H or L nonimmigrant category). This application provides eligible J-1 and J-2 nonimmigrants the
opportunity to apply for a waiver of this requirement.
If you are an exchange visitor, you are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement if:
1. Your participation in the exchange program was financed at any time in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by
an agency of the U.S. Government or by the government of your country of citizenship or nationality or last foreign
2. Prior to being admitted as an exchange visitor, or acquiring such status after admission, your country of citizenship or
nationality or last foreign residence was designated by the U.S. Secretary of State as clearly requiring your specialized
knowledge or skill; or
3. You were admitted as an exchange visitor or acquired such status after admission on or after January 10, 1977, to
participate in graduate medical education or training.
If you have any questions about whether you, your spouse, or your children are subject to the two-year foreign
residence requirement, contact your responsible program officer or a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.
NOTE: If you are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement, your dependents (J-2 spouse and unmarried
minor children) are also subject to this requirement.
Who May File Form I-612?
Exchange visitors (J-1); spouses (J-2) who are no longer married to the exchange visitors; or sons and daughters of the J-1
and/or J-2, who married or who are 21 years of age or older, may file this application to apply for a waiver of the two-year
foreign residence requirement of INA section 212(e) based on:
1. Exceptional hardship to the exchange visitor’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or children; or
2. The exchange visitor’s belief that returning to the country of his or her citizenship or nationality or last foreign
residence would subject him or her to persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion.
NOTE: J-2 spouses still married to the J-1 exchange visitor and unmarried children under 21 years of age may not file
this application on their own behalf.
Dependent of Applicant (Spouse and Unmarried Minor Children)
If you are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement and your spouse and children were admitted as J-2
exchange visitors or acquired such status after admission, they are also subject to this requirement. To include your
spouse and minor children in your waiver application, you will need to list their names, dates of birth, countries of birth,
countries of citizenship or nationality, and countries of last foreign residence on your application in the spaces provided
in Part 3., Item Numbers 3.a. - 6.g. If you need extra space to complete this section, use the space provided in Part 8.
Additional Information. If you do not include your J-2 spouse or J-2 children, your J-2 spouse or J-2 children will not
receive waivers with you and each person will have to file a separate Form I-612.
Form I-612 Instructions 04/24/17 N
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