J-1 Exchange Visitor Status (Scholars/Researchers)

The purpose of the J-1 exchange visitor status is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.  Different categories exist within the J-1 visa status and each category has its own regulation.

To learn more about the J-1 Exchange Visitor Status, visit:

Common Uses

  • Short-term scholars
  • Grant funded research positions
  • Visiting researchers and professors


  • 6 month maximum time limit (Short-Term Scholar)
  • 5 year maximum time limit (Research Scholar/ Visiting Professor)
  • Some J-visa holders will be subject to Regulation 212(e) after completion of the exchange visit. This is commonly called the "two-year home country physical presence requirement". It applies to the exchange visitor if:
    • Their exchange program is financed by the US Government and/or foreign government and/or foreign institution
    • Their area of research is included on the State Department's Exchange Visitor Skills List
    • They participated in the ECFMG medical training program
  • Restrictions for Research Scholar/Professor categories:
    • 12-month bar/ban if scholar participated in any J-category (J-1 or J-2) for 6 months/more prior to applying for Research Scholar/ Professor category 
    • 24-month bar/ban for anyone who wishes to return to the US as a Research Scholar/ Visiting Professor in a new exchange program
    • Exception: If participant was in short-term scholar category, neither bar/ban above applies

  • J-2 dependents can apply for work authorization and engage in full or part-time study
    • Application for work authorization can only be done AFTER arrival to the U.S.
    • Approval of the application and issuance of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) can take up to 3 months


  • Host department contacts Faculty Immigration Services at least 90 days in advance of program commencement (or hire)
  • Host department must also complete the Visiting Scholar Visiting Researcher questionnaire for Export Controls purposes
  • After the visitor arrives on campus, (s)he must schedule an immigration arrival orientation with our office
    • Please contact Faculty Immigration Services for orientation dates


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