I am in the United States on J-1 visa that was issued on the 20th of October 2012 and it will expire on the 31st of July 2013 ( short term Scholar ) and I am on a grant covered by my country's government. In the interview for the visa the counselor told me that the 2 year rule is applied because the grant is funded by my government but when I received the visa it was written " BEARER IS NOT SUBJECT TO SECTION 212(E)". I dont get it, is the 2 year rule applied to me or not. can I now apply for an H-1 visa ?? Thanks
Typically, when you receive funding from your government - as you did in your case - you are subject to rule 212(E). Relying solely on the stamp in your passport is not a smart idea. The immigration officer will look at the circumstances surrounding your entrance into the US including your initial J-1 application when reviewing your application to adjust status to H, L or permanent resident status.
It is important to note that when applying to the J-1 program, you signed documentation stating that you understand and are willing to comply with INA 212(e) if it applies to you. (which it seems to).
Because your stamp contradicts what the statute says about 212(e), it may be beneficial to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney to help you determine your options and correct status.
Best of luck!
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