J-1 Overview & Categories

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 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 a consular officer)
  3. Sufficient funding for the duration of the program
  4. Appropriate background for program activity (i.e. the J-1 visitor meets appropriate degree requirements for the category)
  5. Demonstrate adequate English Proficiency
  6. Maintain health insurance that meets the minimum Dept. of State requirements during the entire J-1 program

J-1 Categories and Maximum Length of Stay

Table outlines different J-1 visa categories and their usages
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
Teach/lecture; can also research, consult, or observe in educational settings 5 years Yes
Observe, consult, or demonstrate their special knowledge or skills; must demonstrate extraordinary knowledge/experience in a specific field 1 year

Yes, if the program is 6 months or longer

No, if the 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: 04/19/2022