There are two different rules that affect how soon a J-1 Exchange Visitor can re-enter the U.S. in J-1 status as a J-1 Professor or a J-1 Research Scholar: the 12 and 24 month bars. It is not possible to obtain a waiver for these bars.
An individual who has been in any J status (including J-2 dependent status) for more than 6 months is subject to the 12-month bar. This means that he/she is barred from the J-1 Professor and J-1 Research Scholar categories until he/she has not been in the U.S. in J status for 12 months.
An individual who completes a J-1 program as a Professor or Research Scholar is subject to the 24-month bar. This means that he/she is barred from the J-1 Professor and J-1 Research Scholar categories for 24 months after the completion of the last J-1 program. The 24-month bar does not require the individual to be out of the United States. J-2 dependents of J-1 Professors or Research Scholars are also subject to the 24-month bar.
How can these bars affect a new J-1 request by a sponsoring department?
When a sponsoring department invites a prospective J-1 scholar in eScholar, the individual is instructed to enter dates of prior J-1 status and provide copies of previous DS-2019s. The OISS will review the information provided. If the individual is subject to the 12 or 24 month bars, the OISS will inform the department if a new J-1 program is not possible at this time.
If an individual is subject to 212(e), then he/she must return to his/her country of citizenship, or his/her country of last legal permanent residence, after the J-1 program is completed. The individual must remain there for an aggregate of two years. This requirement remains until he/she has either fulfilled the rule or he/she has received a waiver of the requirement.
The 12 and 24 month bars impact the ability of repeat participation in a J-1 program, while 212(e) impacts the scholar’s eligibility for H, L or permanent resident status.