Professors or Research Scholars

Regulations pertaining specifically to the Professor and Research Scholar categories are found at 22 CFR 62.20.

As participants in these program categories, foreign professors and research scholars engage in research, teaching, and lecturing with their American colleagues. Alien physicians in graduate medical education or training and short-term scholars are not included in this category.

The eligible participant shall not be a candidate for a tenure track position. Also, professor and research scholar participants may not be in the United States in J-visa status for any part of the 12-month period preceding the start date of their programs, indicated on their Form DS-2019. The 12-month bar is waived if the participant is 1) present in the United States no more than six months; or 2) participating in the Short-Term Scholar category.

At the discretion of the responsible officer, professors may freely engage in research and research scholars may freely engage in teaching and lecturing; this will not be considered a change of category. Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant's program, and do not delay its completion date. Please consult the regulations for details.

The maximum duration for both categories is three years. The responsible officer may extend a participant's program for up to six months to allow the research scholar or professor to complete a specific project or research activity. Extensions for a period longer than six months must be approved in writing by the Department of State. The responsible officer should submit a written request to the Department on behalf of the participant, no less than 60 days prior to the expiration of the participant's permitted three-year period. The fee for extension requests, payable to the Department of State at the time of application, is $198.

Short-Term Scholars

Regulations pertaining specifically to the Short-Term Scholar category are found at 22 CFR 62.21.

A short-term scholar is a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments who visits the United States to lecture, observe, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions.

The duration of the program is the time needed to complete the objective, up to a maximum of six months. The minimum program duration of three (3) weeks for any Exchange Visitor Program category is waived for participants in this category. Extensions are not permitted.

Short-term scholars may participate in the Exchange Visitor Program at conferences, workshops, seminars, or other events listed their Forms DS-2019. Participants may also lecture or consult at institutions not listed on the Form DS-2019 if the responsible officer issues a written authorization for such activity. The authorization must be attached to the participant's Form DS-2019.


Regulations pertaining specifically to the Specialist category are found at 22 CFR 62.26.

Specialists are experts in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, who come to the U.S. to observe, consult, or demonstrate special skills. (Professors, research scholars, short term scholars, and alien physicians are excluded from this category.) Some examples of fields represented include mass media communication, environmental science, youth leadership, international educational exchange, museum exhibitions, labor law, public administration, and library science.

The purpose of the specialist category is to facilitate exchange among experts at scientific institutions, government agencies, museums, corporations, libraries, and similar types of institutions. The maximum duration of this category is one year.

DS-2019 for J-1 Requests

In addition to requirements as set forth above, other determining factors will need to be met before a DS-2019 can be issued for a potential J-1 Exchange Visitor.

Financial Support: Adequate financial support while in the U.S. must be shown and documented before a DS-2019 can be issued to a potential J-1 Visitor. An exchange visitor must have at least $1528 per month in support while in the U.S. on the Exchange Program. The amount needed for dependents of J-1 visitors will be decided at the time of application. Proof of support (i.e. appointment letter from AUM) must be attached to any request for DS-2019 or shown at time of orientation when the visitor arrives on the campus of AUM.

Mandatory Insurance Requirement: All exchange visitors and any accompanying dependents must have proof of health and accident insurance as required by the Department of State.

(a) Minimum Coverage - At a minimum insurance shall cover: (1) medical benefits of at least $50,000 per person per accident or illness; (2) repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500; and (3) expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $10,000.

(b) Additional Terms - A policy secured to fulfill the insurance requirements shall not have a deductible that exceeds $500 per accident or illness, and must meet other standards specified in the regulations.

(c) Maintenance of Insurance - Exchange visitors must maintain the required insurance during the duration of their program.

Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement: Certain Exchange Visitor Program participants and family members must return home for at least two years after completing their educational or cultural program before they can change or adjust to certain non-immigrant or immigrant statuses. This requirement applies to those (1) whose exchange visitor program has been financed to some extent by the U.S. Government or their home country, (2) whose skills are needed by their home country as indicated in the Exchange Visitor Skills List, or (3) whose purpose in coming to the U.S. is to receive graduate medical education or training. Grounds for applying for a waiver of this requirement are limited.

English Proficiency: The U.S. Department of State now requires all incoming J exchange visitors to verify their English proficiency in order to "successfully participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis" [22 CFR 65.11 (a)(2)]

Effective January 5, 2015, AUM hosting departments must determine that prospective exchange visitors possess sufficient proficiency in the English language as determined by an objective measurement. Verification of English proficiency can be done through a recognized English language test (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE). English Profeciency Requirements


The transfer of a participant from one program (sponsor) to another may be allowed at the discretion of the responsible officers and must be within the same category. The responsible officer here at AUM will verify the participant's visa status and eligibility, issue a new Form DS-2019 reflecting the transfer, and will obtain the release of the participant from the current responsible officer, who indicates approval of the transfer by completing and signing block 8 of Form DS-2019. Transfers are not permitted in all categories, and a transfer does not extend the maximum duration of the program.