About J-1 Exchange Visitors

The University of Minnesota is authorized to offer four J-1 categories in addition to the J-1 student category. These are individuals who are coming to UMN to study, do research, teach a course, receive training, etc.

Scholar Categories

Minimum education must be a bachelor’s degree or the international equivalent.

  • Professor – Primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, and may conduct research. Minimum stay in U.S. is 3 weeks, maximum is 5 years. Repeat participation in this category is permitted, as long as the 24-Month Bar Rule has been observed.
  • Research Scholar – Primarily conducting research, observing, and may also teach or lecture. Minimum stay in U.S. is 3 weeks, maximum is 5 years. Repeat participation in this category is permitted, as long as the 24-Month Bar Rule has been observed.
  • Short-term Scholar – Person with similar education to professor/research scholar coming for short-term visit primarily for lecturing, observing, training, etc. No minimum stay required. Maximum stay in U.S. is 6 months. Repeat participation in this category is permitted, as long as each new program of participation is different in focus and/or breadth from the previous one. The 24-Month Bar does not apply.

Student-Intern Category

Currently enrolled in at least a bachelor's-level degree program abroad. Purpose is to participate in full-time internship program in U.S. that fulfills the educational objectives of current academic program abroad. Minimum stay in U.S. is 3 weeks, maximum is 12 months per educational level. The 24-month bar does not apply. More similarities to Scholar categories than to student.

Regulations

Scholars and Student-Interns are eligible to have a paid position in the hosting department for the activities above (tenure-track and student appointments not permitted).

There are several important regulations unique to the J status.

12 Month Bar

This applies to individuals who have been in any J visa status in the previous 12 months and are a prospective J-1 Research Scholar or J-1 Professor. For more information, visit our 12 Month Bar page for scholars or student-interns.

24 Month Bar

This applies to individuals who have been in J visa status in either the Research Scholar or Professor category in the previous 24 months and are a prospective J-1 Research Scholar or J-1 Professor. (Do not confuse this with the below 2 Year Rule.) For more information, visit our 24 Month Bar page for scholars.

Two-Year Rule

This is officially called “Two Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement.” It is also referred to and annotated as 212(e). (Do not confuse this with the above 24 Month Bar).

This could apply to any J visa holder and is based on certain criteria. If subject, this Rule directly affects those who are considering a change to another visa status. For more information about this Rule, eligibility criteria, advisory opinions, and the waiver process, visit our Two-Year Rule page for scholars or student-interns.

Health Insurance

It is a federal requirement that all J visa holders carry health insurance in the U.S. It is a UMN requirement that all J visa holders carry one of the University’s insurance plans. For more information about the insurance requirement and exceptions, visit our Health Insurance page for scholars or student-interns.

Last updated: June 7, 2021