J-1 Visa Categories and Limitations of Stay
There are 15 different categories of exchange (J-1 visa and J-2 visa for dependents of J-1 visa holders) and Holy Family University (University) is a designated sponsor for four (4) such categories:
To enter the United States as a foreign student seeking a degree, the applicant may hold either an F-1 or a J-1 visa. The University offers programs for both visa classifications. The information that follows addresses strictly and only the J-1 visa for students and three other categories under the Exchange Visitor Program. To learn more about the F-1 visa option at the University in terms of admission requirements, the application process, tuition and fees, living accommodations, and scholarship opportunities refer to http://my.holyfamily.edu/home/inter.asp.
For J-1 visa purposes, a college or university student is defined as an individual who is studying in the United States, pursuing a full course of study leading to or culminating in the awarding of a degree. College and university students shall register for and complete a full course of study as defined by the accredited educational institution in which the student is matriculated. The J-1 visa option is especially attractive for foreign students seeking a graduate degree or a post-baccalaureate certificate.
The length of time that the Form DS-2019 is issued for J-1 visa students is dependent upon the approved academic program and objective. Generally, at the University, the length of time on the Form DS-2019 is five years for undergraduates, three years for masters’ candidates, and five years for doctoral students enrolled in the University’s first doctoral program, the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Professional Studies, which was established in 2010. The length of stay indicated on the Form DS-2019 may vary from student to student even at or within the same academic level or degree category depending on the academic program and objective.
A professor is an individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at a postsecondary accredited educational institution, museum, library, or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research.
The maximum period of participation for J-1 visiting professors is five years. This five-year period is not an aggregate of five years. It is a continuous period of five years given to J-1 professors or research scholars on a “use or lose” basis. The length of time on the Form DS-2019 can be anywhere from three weeks to five years.
A research scholar is an individual primarily conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, postsecondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institution. Research scholars may also teach or lecture.
Visiting professors and research scholars may be sponsored as exchange visitors only if they have appropriate academic or similar credentials; will be participating in a program that furthers the objectives of the Exchange Visitor Program; and have planned activities that are compatible with those objectives. The exchange visitor’s appointment to a position shall be temporary, even if the position itself is permanent. A visiting professor or research scholar shall not be a candidate for a permanent position.
The maximum period of participation for J-1 visa research scholars is five years just like the visiting professor category. This five-year period is not an aggregate of five years. It is a continuous period of five years given to a J-1 research scholar or visiting professor on a “use or lose” basis. The length of time on the Form DS-2019 can be anywhere from three weeks to five years.
Short Term Scholar
A short term scholar is defined as a professor, research scholar or person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training or demonstrating special skills in a research institution, museum, library, accredited postsecondary educational institution or similar type of institutions. A short term scholar is permitted to participate in planned activities such as conferences, workshops, seminars and other events if these activities are stated on her/his Form DS 2019.
A J-1 visa short term scholar may remain in the United States for up to six months. No exceptions are permitted beyond the sixth month.