About the J-1 Exchange Program

J-1 status is granted to an individual having a residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning. Kansas State University’s J-1 Exchange Visitor program currently sponsors J-1 Exchange Visitors (EV) in the Student, Professor, Research Scholar and Short Term Scholar categories.

The amount of time given on the DS-2019 depends on the Exchange Visitor’s category in which the visitor was admitted.

  • Short Term Scholars: 1 day to 6 months with no extensions.
  • Professors: Minimum of 3 weeks with a maximum duration of 5 years.*
  • Research Scholars: Minimum of 3 weeks with a maximum duration of 5 years*
  • Students: The length of the academic program

*The 5-year period is not an aggregate of 5 years. It is a continuous 5-year period given to a EV on a “use it or lose it” basis. In order to take advantage of the full 5-year period, J-1 Research Scholars and Professors must have a continuous academic appointment, at K-State or another J-1 Program Sponsor in the U.S. They must maintain J-1 immigration status and they must have a continuous J-1 immigration record in SEVIS.

Twelve-Month Bar – If the Exchange Visitor has spent more than 6 months in any J category, except Short Term Scholar, he or she will not be eligible to return to the U.S. as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for 12 months after his or her departure.

24-Month Bar – If a visiting scholar has been in the U.S. for 6 months or more as a Professor or Research Scholar, he or she cannot begin a new J program in those categories for 24 months after the previous program end date. An understanding of the regulation helps explain why it is necessary to know an incoming scholar’s previous visa statuses. (He or she could still come as a “Short Term Scholar” for up to 6 months.)

Two-year Home Residency Requirement - Those who are subject to this requirement may not change their status to another nonimmigrant classification within the U.S. (except to an A or G status), are not eligible to become permanent residents, and cannot obtain an H-1B or L visa until they have lived in the country of last legal permanent residence for two years after completing their J-1 program. Exchange visitors who are subject to this requirement are either:

  • Financed in whole or in part by the U.S. or home country’s government; or
  • From countries where their specific skills are needed, as determined by the Exchange Visitor Skills List; or
  • Medical doctors who come to the U.S. for advanced medical education or training.