The J-1 Exchange Visa was designed to allow Thai Nationals an opportunity to travel to the United States as either a temporary Worker or to engage in a specialized course of study. The Thai person utilizing the United States J-1 Visa may be subject to a bar from reentering the United States known as the two year foreign residence requirement. Currently, the provisions of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act require that those who enter the US on a J-1 visa, where the sponsorship of the visa is paid for through the use of government financial resources, shall be subject to a reentry restriction for two years. This means that the J-1 visa holder cannot go back to the United States for two years on any visa that has any intrinsic immigrant intent (K-1 visa, K-3 visa, CR-1 visa, IR-1 visa, etc.) after they have completed the Exchange visa program. The reason for imposing this seemingly stringent 2 year restriction is due to the fact that the J-1 visa holder was granted the use of government money in order to expand their skill set and those expanded skills were intended to be practiced in the applicant's home country. Further, the policy reason behind granting use of these funds is based on the idea that non-immigrants should come to the USA, pick up new skills (technical or otherwise), and travel back to their country of origin in order to disseminate the newly acquired skill, learning, technical knowledge, and/or cultural experience. Providing an outlet for American cultural exchange is often one of the primary reasons for granting the J-1 Visa and stifling that exchange would often go against the reason for the original J-1 visa application's approval. It may be possible to obtain a non-immigrant visa (like a B-1 Business Visa or a B-2 Tourist Visa) to the United States during the two year foreign residence requirement, but each day that the former J-1 holder is in the USA the 2 year restriction will be tolled. Therefore, days present in the United States on a US Tourist visa during the restricted residency period will not count towards extinguishing the two year foreign residence requirement. In some cases a waiver of the 2 year foreign residence requirement may be obtained by those who have used a J1 visa and now wish to return to America. The Foreign Residence Waiver is relatively difficult to obtain as it generally requires the approval of both a foreign government and the United States Government in the form of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.
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