2009 Exchange Visitor Skills List

April 30, 2009 Download pdf

Years in the making, the Department of State published the 2009 Revised Exchange Visitor Skills List in the April 30, 2009 Federal Register. The skills list was last revised in 1997.

The library document downloadable to the right is a version of the list prepared with bookmarks to countries and subject codes.

The 2009 skills list became effective on June 28, 2009; i.e., it applies to exchange visitors who acquire J-1 status on or after June 28, 2009.


Impact of the 2009 Skills List

Use of CIP 2000 Codes
Prior skills lists have used a unique coding system since 1972. The 2009 skills list replaces the prior coding system with Classification of Instructional Programs Codes (CIP 2000), the same codes used by the SEVIS system.


Effect of Countries Removed From the Skills List in the 2009 Revision

A number of countries that were on the 1997 Skills List have been removed in the 2009 Skills List (see the table below for a list of countries that have been removed). DOS cable STATE 057336, 06/09 confirmed that when a country is removed from the skills list, an exchange visitor who had been subject to INA 212(e) on that basis is retroactively released from his or her 212(e) obligations (provided that he or she is not also subject on some basis other than the skills list). That cable also confirmed that retroactive release from 212(e) obligations is not available to exchange visitors when only a skill area is removed, but the country itself remains on the list.


Background

The Exchange Visitor Skills List is a list of specialized knowledge and skills that a foreign country has deemed are necessary for the development of that country. A J-1 exchange visitor whose country of citizenship or last permanent residence has listed on the skills list the skill that the exchange visitor is coming to the United States to exercise, is subject to the INA 212(e) requirement to be physically present in that country for a period of two years following the visitor's exchange in the United States, before being eligible for an H or L visa or U.S. lawful permanent residence.

The skills list current at the time an exchange visitor acquires J status to begin a particular program determines whether he or she is subject to the two-year residence requirement on that basis. The 2009 skills list will apply to exchange visitors who acquire J-1 status on or after June 28, 2009.

The 1984 skills list applies to exchange visitors who acquired J-1 status prior to March 17, 1997. The 1997 skills list applies to exchange visitors who acquired J-1 status on or after March 17, 1997, but before June 28, 2009.


Comparing The Countries On The 1997 and 2009 Skills Lists

Full List Of Countries on the 2009 Skills List
(effective June 28, 2009)
New Countries on the 2009 List Countries on the 1997 List that are not on the 2009 List
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso [formerly Upper Volta]
  • Burma
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • China-Mainland
  • Colombia
  • Congo (Kinshasa) [Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire]
  • Costa Rica
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Palestinian Authority (Gaza and West Bank)
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Romania
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Swaziland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Armenia
  • Belize
  • Cambodia
  • Djibouti
  • East Timor
  • Eritrea
  • Georgia
  • Haiti
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Palestinian Authority
  • South Africa
  • Tajikistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic (removed 12/24/1997)
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Hungary
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lesotho
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malta
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Poland
  • Qatar
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Western Samoa
  • Zimbabwe