Regulations for J-1 Short Term Scholars and Specialists

Short-Term Scholars

  1. Definition: A professor, research scholar, specialist, or person with a similar educational background and academic accomplishments, who comes to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions [22 C.F.R.§62.4(b)].
  2. Duration of stay:
    • Short-term scholars’ visits generally last between 3 weeks and 6 months.
    • 6 months is the maximum amount of time that a short-term scholar may stay in the U.S.
  3. Limitations: Short-term scholars are limited to the activities and locations stated on their DS-2019. Any changes must be approved.
  4. Exemptions: Short-term scholars are exempt from the 12- and 24-month bar, due to the short duration of their visits.


  1. Definition: An expert in a field of specialized knowledge or type of skill, who comes to the United States for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating his/her professional knowledge and/or skills.[22 C.F.R. §62.4 (g)]. Professors, research and short-term scholars, and alien physicians participating in training programs are NOT classified as specialists (22 C.F.R. §62.26).
  2. Duration of stay:
    • The Exchange Visitor Program allows a specialist to stay in the U.S. for the length of time that it takes to complete his/her work.
    • Specialists’ visits, however, are limited to 1 year.
  3. Limitations: While in the U.S., specialists may NOT:
    • Fill a permanent or long-term position of employment.
    • Participate in activities or work at locations other than those stated on their DS-2019 Form.


  • International Student Services

    Phone: 281-283-2740
    Fax: 281-226-7038

    Bayou Building B2123
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 225
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