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 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:
    • 24-month bar/ban on returning in the Research Scholar/ Visiting Professor categories
    • 12-month bar/ban if you participated in any J-category (J-1 or J-2) for 6 months/more in the previous year - except short term scholar
  • 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
  • After obtaining documents from the host and tentative exchange visitor (EV), Faculty Immigration Services issues Form DS2019, used to apply for the J-1 visa abroad
  • NDSU host department ships DS2019 to EV for visa application abroad
  • After the EV 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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