J-1 Status

All J-1 visa participants are temporarily in the United States and must demonstrate an intention to return abroad at the end of their exchange program. Their experience in the U.S. is solely for the purpose of exposing them to American techniques, methodologies, and expertise, as well as to help them gain a better understanding of American culture and society. The program can sponsor J-1 status (research scholar and short-term scholar categories only) for selected, eligible participants on a case-by-case basis. If a candidate already has a J-1 status as a research scholar and is currently in the United States, he/she may be eligible for a transfer from his/her current sponsor’s program.

The maximum duration for the research scholar category is five years. The program also uses the short-term scholar category, which allows for up to six months of participation. Short-term scholars are not allowed to transfer from one sponsor to another.

The J-1 status is only for the purpose of conducting research and cannot be used for any other reason. Exchange visitors are expected to leave the United States upon completing their program objective. Exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement are not eligible to change their status while in the United States. Waivers of the requirement are available in special cases. However, we do not assist with the waiver process.

If an application is made for a waiver and a favorable recommendation is received, you will no longer be eligible for continued J-1 status. You will be eligible to finish the currently authorized remaining J-1 time, but will be ineligible for extensions or transfers to a different J-1 program. If a waiver recommendation is issued to you, you must notify our immigration staff immediately.

All J-1 recipients must have insurance in effect which covers the exchange visitor for sickness or accident during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor’s exchange visitor program. Failure to maintain the appropriate insurance would result in the termination of J-1 authorization for the participant. Such circumstances would require leaving the program and the United States.