12 Month Bar for J-1 Students

A J exchange visitor (including J-1 students and student-interns) is not eligible for program participation as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor if they have been physically present in the United States in any J-1 or J-2 status for six months or more in the 12-month period immediately preceding the proposed DS-2019 start date, unless the participant is transferring to the University of Minnesota, or the participant’s presence in the United States was as a J-1 Short-Term Scholar. Exchange visitors who are subject to the 12-month bar are not eligible to begin a new program as a Research Scholar or Professor, until 12 months have passed since they were physically present in the U.S. on any J status. However, they are eligible to come as J-1 Short Term Scholars or on other visa types.

Example Case

A J-1 Student comes to the U.S. for training prior to graduating from their bachelor’s degree abroad. The J-1 Student completes training, returns home, and graduates, and is asked to return to the U.S. as a J-1 Research Scholar. In this case, if the Exchange Visitor had spent six months or more in J-1 Student status, they must wait for at least 12 months after the end of their training program before returning to the U.S. as a J-1 Research Scholar. Alternatively, the Exchange Visitor could return sooner as J-1 Short-Term Scholar or on another visa type.

Last updated: July 26, 2021