J-1 Scholar Categories

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fullbright-Hayes Act) of 1961; the purpose is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. The J-1 status is not for temporary work; the scholar should be engaged in exchange activities for his or her own benefit. The sponsoring department should encourage the scholar to participate in cross-cultural activities, in order for the scholar to gain the broadest exposure to American society, culture and institutions.

Categories of J-1 Status

If you have questions about which category is most appropriate for a potential scholar, please contact OISS.

 J-1 Research Scholars
  • An individual concerned primarily with conducting research or observing in connection with a research project. The research scholar is also allowed to teach or lecture.
  • Program can last up to 5 years; minimum is 3 weeks.
J-1 Professors
  • An individual concerned primarily with teaching, lecturing, or observing. The professor may also participate in research.
  • Program can last up to 5 years; minimum is 3 weeks.
J-1 Short-Term Scholars
  • A professor, research scholar, distinguished professional in the field, or person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the U.S. on a short-term visit for the purpose of researching, lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills.
  • Program can last up to 6 months.
J-1 Specialists
  • An individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or a skill and seeks to travel to the U.S. for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating his or her special knowledge and skills.
  • Program can last up to 1 year; minimum is 3 weeks.
J-1 Student Interns
  • An individual currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S., participating in an internship program in the U.S., whose purpose is to fulfill educational objectives for the current degree program at the individual’s home institution.
  • Program can last up to 1 year.