UMD: A Globally Connected University

J-1 Scholar Category Restrictions

Regulation or Restriction

Applies to

Regulation or restriction details

24 month bar

Individuals that have completed a J-1 or J-2 program

** Does not apply to those who were/currently are a J-1 short term scholar**

Individual must wait two years before eligible to begin a new J-1 research scholar/professor program, regardless of whether or not they used the full five year maximum on a previous J-1 or J-2 program.

12 month bar

J-1 scholars applying to research scholar or professor program

An individual is not eligible if he or she has been physically present in the United States in J-1 or J-2 status for all or part of the twelve month period immediately preceding the date of program commencement as stated on his or her Form DS-2019, unless:

  1. The participant is transferring to the sponsor's program and has not exceeded the maximum allowed time of five years.
  2. The participant's presence in the United States was of less than six months duration; or
  3. The participant's presence in the United States was pursuant to a short-term scholar exchange activity.

Two year home residency

Certain J-1 visitors and their J-2 dependents may be subject to this requirement based on a specific set of criteria. Individuals:

(1) who have been financed to some extent by the U.S. government or their home country government

(2) who are gaining skills that are needed by their home country as indicated in the Exchange Visitor Skills List

(3) whose purpose in coming to the U.S. is to receive graduate medical education or training.

If an individual is subject to this requirement, they must leave the U.S. to do an out-of-country change of status from J-1 scholar to any other non-immigrant status, and they must complete two full years in their home country before they can apply for any immigrant status in the U.S. Grounds for obtaining a waiver of this requirement are very limited.