J-1 Eligibility

J-1 scholar teaching in a classroom

Eligibility and Definitions

The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa may be used for scholars who come to campus to teach, lecture, observe, consult, or conduct research. Some basic eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • The scholar must have appropriate academic (or similar) credentials to pursue his or her J-1 program objective
  • The scholar must have sufficient English proficiency to conduct the J-1 program activities and for day-to-day life in the community
  • J-1 scholars cannot hold tenure track positions in the US
  • The scholar must be able to provide documentation of sufficient funding for the duration of their J-1 program (minimum $1400/month)

Three categories of J-1 scholars are possible:

  • Professor: A scholar whose primary purpose is teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. A professor also may conduct research.
  • Research Scholar: A scholar whose primary purpose is conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. A research scholar also may teach or lecture.
  • Short-Term Scholar: A scholar who enters the US for a short-term visit for the purpose or lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills.

Time Limits and Bars on Participation

For Professors and Research Scholars, the minimum program duration is 3 weeks and the maximum duration is 5 years. Note that Miami University appointments are typically no more than 1 year in duration. However, if a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar is re-appointed, his or her J-1 program may be extended repeatedly for up to a maximum of 5 years.

There are two bars on program participation that affect J-1 Professors and Research Scholars:

  • A scholar is not eligible to begin a new J-1 program as a Professor or Research Scholar if he or she was physically present in the US in any J status (including J-2 status) for all or part of the twelve month period immediately preceding the start date of the J-1 program (unless his or her presence was less than 6 months or was spent as a Short-Term Scholar)
  • A scholar who previously completed a J-1 program as a Professor or Research Scholar may not begin a new J-1 program as Professor or Research Scholar for two years from the end date of the previous program

For Short-Terms scholars, the maximum program duration is 6 months (there is no minimum). The above-mentioned bars on program participation do not apply to Short-Term Scholars.

Grace Periods

J-1 scholars may enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date on their DS-2019. In addition, after completing their J-1 program, they may remain in the United States for up to 30 days to prepare for departure. If they depart the U.S. during this grace period, they may not re-enter unless it is for a different program or purpose and with a different visa.