J-1 Exchange Visitor Information

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was created as part of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961. The overall goal of the act, and of the Exchange Visitor Program, is to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges [22 CFR § 62.1(a)].

CSU’s International Student and Scholar Services office can create DS-2019 immigration documents to assist prospective exchange visitors in applying for a J-1 visa.  Different categories of J-1 programs are available depending on the exchange visitors’ anticipated activities.  Exchange visitors at CSU are typically engaged in research, teaching, consulting, observing, or demonstrating special skills.

Research Scholar or Professor

A participant in either the Research Scholar or Professor category shall not be a candidate for a tenure track position.  Participants in these two categories may not have been in the United States in J-visa status for any part of the 12-month period preceding the start date of their programs as indicated on their Forms DS-2019.  They may not have been in the U.S. in either the Professor or Research category within the last 24 months unless transferring from another U.S. Institution.  At the discretion of the program sponsor, professors may engage in research and research scholars may engage in teaching and lecturing; this will not be considered a change of category.  Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the written approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant’s program and do not delay its completion date.  The duration for the Professor or Research Scholar category is three weeks to five years.

  • Research Scholar: An individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project.
  • Professor: An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting.

Short-Term Scholar

A short-term scholar is a faculty member or research staff, or person with similar education or accomplishments, who intends to visit the United States to lecture, observe, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills. Short-term scholars may participate in the Exchange Visitor Program at conferences, workshops, seminars, or other events listed their Forms DS-2019. Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the written approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant’s program and do not delay its completion date.  The duration of the program is the time needed to complete the objective.  The maximum duration for this category is up to a maximum of six months.  Extensions or changes of status are not permitted.

Specialist

A specialist is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill who intends to visit the United States for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills.  An individual in the specialist category has the opportunity to observe American institutions and methods of practice in their professional fields, and to share their specialized knowledge with their American colleagues.  The maximum duration for the Specialist category is 12 months. Extensions or changes of status are not permitted.

Categories of Exchange Visitors Chart