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J-1 Overview & Categories

Overview of J-1 Visa

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange, in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. The J-1 visa is for visitors who are coming to the U.S. for a short-term program in a variety of different areas: such as study, research, teaching or training. Colorado College sponsors foreign nationals for J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas in the following categories: Professor, Research Scholar, Specialist, and Students.

Eligibility Requirements for all J-1 Exchange Visitors

Basic requirements for all J-1 Exchange Visitors:

  1. Intent to pursue appropriate activity (such as research, teaching, training or study)
  2. Intent to return to home country (as determined by consular officer)
  3. Sufficient funding for duration of program
  4. Appropriate background for program activity (i.e. the J-1 visitor meets appropriate degree requirements for category)
  5. Demonstrate adequate English Proficiency
  6. Maintain health insurance which meets the minimum Dept. of State requirements during the entire J-1 program

J-1 Categories and Maximum Length of Stay

J-1 Category
Primary Purpose
Maximum Length of Stay
Subject to 12- or 24-Month Bar on Repeat Participation after J-1 Program is Completed?
Research Scholar Research; can also teach/lecture, consult, or observe in educational settings 5 years Yes
Professor Teach/lecture; can also research, consult, or observe in educational settings 5 years Yes
Specialist Observe, consult, or demonstrate their special knowledge or skills; must demonstrate extraordinary knowledge/experience in specific field 1 year

Yes, if program is 6 months or longer

No, if program is less than 6 months

Short-Term Scholar Research, teach/lecture, consult, or observe special projects 6 months No

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/17/2020