We hope you have had an amazing experience and that you have learned a lot, made great friends and that participating in this program has enriched your life and truly expanded your perspective and understanding. It was a pleasure having you in our program and we sincerely hope that you will share your experience with your friends and family back home.

Please take a moment to review these important reminders and tips to make sure you leave with everything in order and on great terms with your Host Company and landlord and take care of closing out any accounts you may have established.

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Last Day of Work or Training

Before your last day of work/training, please make sure that you take care of the following:

  1. Make sure that your Host Company has a copy of your social security card on file.
  2. Make arrangements for your final paycheck by speaking with your manager. If it is not possible to receive a final paycheck before you leave, make arrangements to have it mailed or direct deposited.

Housing Preparations

Review Your Lease Terms: Inform your landlord of your departure in advance and make sure that it is in compliance with your lease/rental agreement. Some landlords require 30 day notice before your planned departure date. Review your lease to make sure that you comply with all requirements in order to get your security deposit or any other funds withheld. You will be responsible for paying rent through the agreed upon lease end date.

Leave Housing Clean and In Good Condition: It is important that you leave your housing in the same condition that it was when you moved in. Your housing must be clean. Please take out the trash and empty the fridge. Leaving your housing clean and without any damage will ensure that you receive your deposit back.

Remove or Donate Unwanted Household Items: If you have some household items during your, but do not wish to take them with you, remove them or consider giving them to your co-workers or checking to see if the items could be passed on to next group of program participants.

Bank Account

If you have arranged for paycheck direct deposits, make sure to keep your bank account open until you receive your last paycheck, and provide contact information to your bank in case they need to contact you.

  • Make sure that your employer has made the last direct deposit of your pay. If money has not posted to your account, make sure your employer knows to issue you a paper check.
  • Visit the bank to make sure you close properly close your account. Bring proper identification (passport, J-1 visa, and DS-2019). Make sure all fees are paid and that you withdraw all funds from the account. Make sure to ask if the bank requires your home country address.
  • Talk with your bank to make sure you understand all the rules, including minimum balance requirements to avoid fees.
  • Make sure you are able to withdraw money from your bank account in your home country and ask if there are any associated fees.

Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

Home country physical presence requirement means the requirement that an exchange visitor who is within the purview of section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act must reside and be physically present in the country of nationality or last legal permanent residence for an aggregate of at least two years following departure from the United States before the exchange visitor is eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or permanent residence, a nonimmigrant H visa as a temporary worker or trainee, or a nonimmigrant L visa as an intracompany transferee, or a nonimmigrant H or L visa as the spouse or minor child of a person who is a temporary worker or trainee or an intracompany transferee.

Please see below answers to the most frequently asked questions about this requirement.

Congress created the “J” Exchange Visitor Program to bring foreign nationals to the United States to gain new knowledge and ideas and to then return to their home countries to share that knowledge with their fellow countrymen. Ideally, the program develops better understandings and closer ties between participants from other countries and US citizens. To ensure that exchange occurs and to carry out this goal of the program, Congress included in the law a two-year home country physical presence requirement. The precise section of the law is the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e). For convenience people often refer to the requirement by its legal reference as “INA 212(e)” or as just “212(e).” Persons to whom the rule applies are referred to as being “subject to 212(e).” It is an important characteristic of the J status that all of those in this visa class should understand, even if they are not currently subject to 212(e). INA 212(e) makes certain J visa participants ineligible for an H, L, or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status until they have returned to and been physically present in their last country of citizenship or permanent residence for a minimum of two years after completion of their J exchange programs

Two organizations commonly make determinations regarding 212(e), the Department of State (DOS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Usually, the DOS consular officer makes a preliminary determination of whether someone is subject and notes that determination on the bottom left corner of the DS-2019 and/or on the J visa stamp in the passport during the visa application process. The DHS immigration officer makes a similar assessment if the individual applies for any immigration benefits while in the U.S.

Part of the J process is to provide you with information so that you enter the program with informed consent and knowledge of the compliance expectation. Look at page 2 of the DS-2019. All participants in a J Exchange Visitor Program must sign page 1 of the DS-2019 in order to obtain a visa or use the DS-2019 to enter the U.S. In doing so, they are stating that they understand and are willing to comply with INA 212(e) if it applies to them. Page 2 of the DS-2019 explains the requirement and the expectation that those participating in the Exchange Visitor Program will return home as agreed.