THE FEAR OF GOING HOME IS REAL: The End of the J1 Visa Program Fear

The facts are very clear.

  1. The J1 visa program is only valid for three years plus two years of possible extension - for a total of five years.
  2. Teachers under the program are subject to Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(e) two-year home requirement. This means that unless you are exempt, as stated in your passport and DS 2019 form, you have to go home for two years after the end of the J1 program before you can re-apply again. Some teachers luckily receive an exemption in their visa passport stamp for whatever reason. 
  3. You can waive the two-year home requirement through waiver application. 

The J1 visa program to those who started in SY 18-19 is coming to its end. Some teachers are suddenly alarmed and panicky!

Mmmm, I wonder why?

Could it be that:

  1. They have spent all their US dollars and have not prioritized paying off their debts?
  2. They have forgotten why they applied for the J1 visa program in the first place?
  3. They have enjoyed the $5000-$10000 credit cards - the credit agencies willingly approved them and maxed it out?
  4. They have bought all the earthly branded things the US dollars can buy and saved none?
  5. They have traveled galore as if there's no end to the program and spent their money unnecessarily?

Because suddenly some turned into VICTIM mindset:

  1. Blaming agencies who helped them teach in the US.
  2. Blaming their J1 visa sponsors for the yearly renewal of their visa and/or dependent's visas.
  3. Blaming the Department of Education in the Philippines for forcing them to resign. (But what's fair? Keep their jobs in Dep Ed while they earn dollars?)
  4. Blaming the Philippine government for everything!
  5. Blaming everyone but themselves for not SAVING enough money or prioritizing the use of their US dollars?

Or do you now point fingers at your spouse and children because they are in the US with you as well?

Remember, choosing to bring your family to the US vs. saving tons of money living singly in the US is a choice. 

If you chose and decided to bring your family to the US, you have given your family the US experience and US education. And no one can take that away from them. 

There is nothing wrong with lavish spending and traveling if you have your ducks in a row and have pre-planned the financial aspect of your life. (Yes, even before deciding to have your family join you here in the US).

As always, correct budgeting, goal planning, and living within your means would save you from all the fears you feel now if you are one of those "some teachers."

And why be afraid to go home?

  1. You have earned and gained five years of US knowledge, skills, and experience. (Plus all the benefits and perks of travels and outlet sales and discounts!) Are you too proud to apply as a teacher to Philippine schools again? 
  2. Or is it because you have not paid your debts in the Philippines after enjoying your five years of stay in the US?
  3. Or is it because your values have changed? You no longer want to go home because the Philippines isn't the USA that provides free toilet papers in public establishments?
  4. Or that the teacher's salary in the Philippines is way too low, and you can't accept that anymore?
  5. Or are you afraid because it involves some moral actions I'd rather not say...
  6. Or you do not want to go "back to zero" again, which is inevitable since change always means going back to zero (in some aspects)?

Whatever your reasons are, please remember you are way better than your victim mindset. Being RESPONSIBLE with your choices and actions is still the best way to go.

Now, if you haven't done so, adjust your budgets and stop the unnecessary spending! 

And please do not make the "holidays" your "another excuse" to buy all the sale items in the outlet stores and travel galore!




I hope you will remember when you begged God to give you this "teaching in the US" dream some four years ago. And how you prayed and prayed for God to make it come true.

And then, He did.

Did you forget about Him?

"Fear not," He says, "for I am with you." That still holds, teachers, wherever you are! It's time to trust God once more!


You are wiser, bolder, and more confident.

And your family, relatives, and friends in the Philippines await your homecoming!


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