Skip to the content


Follow us

Home > International Staff / Faculty / Visiting Scholars > Visa Category > J-1 Visa Category

J-1 Visa Category

General Information

The Exchange Visitor Program was established by U.S. government to facilitate the visitors from other countries to come to U.S. to participate in Educational and Cultural programs. The objective of the program is to increase mutual understanding between the citizens of the U.S. and the Exchange Visitors’ countries. The visitors may participate in studies, research, teaching, or receive training. Universities, research institutes and organizations can be recognized by the U.S. Department of State as Exchange Visitor Program Sponsors.

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement:

In some cases, this visa carries with it a (212(e)) “two-year home country residence requirement,” which obliges the Exchange Visitor to return to his/her home country for two years before being eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or a non-immigrant H or L visa. This restriction applies to those financially supported by the U.S. government or their home governments during part or all of the stay in the U.S. In addition, the two-year home country residence requirement is imposed on those whose skills are needed in the home countries as registered on the Exchange Visitor Skills List.

24-Month Bar:

J-1 visa holders under the Professor and Research Scholar categories may remain in the U.S. for up to five years on an Exchange Visitor visa. Upon completion of the Exchange Visitor’s program, the individual is barred from the Professor or Research Scholar categories for two years. This 24 month bar is different from the 212(e) discussed above. The 212(e) requires the individual to return to his/her country of permanent residence/citizenship. This 24 month bar only requires that the individual not be under the J visa category for that 24 month period. The 24 month bar still applies even if the Professor or Research Scholar completes the program in less than 6 months. The completion of the program is indicated as follows

  1. Program End Date : The expiration date listed on the DS-2019
  2. Effective Completion Date : Exchange Visitor may complete program prior to the Program End Date listed on the DS-2019

12-Month Bar:

Individuals who have been in the U.S. as Exchange Visitors in any J status for 6 months or more of the preceding 12 months prior to the new program start date is not eligible to participate as a Professor or Research Scholar, except:

  1. J-1 Transfers: transferring from one sponsor to another under the same category;
  2. Presence in J status for less than 6 months; or
  3. Presence in J status as a Short-Term Scholar.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) charges a SEVIS fee to new J-1 scholars. This fee is in addition to the visa application fees charged by the U.S. consulate or embassy.

For Cal State L.A. to issue a DS-2019 (the immigration document to take to the U.S. Consulate), there must be a sponsoring professor who will oversee and supervise the exchange visitor. The sponsoring professor must complete the DS-2019 Request and submit it to Amy Wang at IPS with the proper signatures and supporting documents.

5151 State University Drive . Los Angeles . CA 90032 . (323) 343-3000
© 2008 Trustees of the California State University

Last Update: 07/15/2011