Visa/Status for Scholars

The Exchange Visitor Program, administered by the US Department of State (DOS), allows the University to use the J-1 Exchange Visitor immigration classification to invite or employ foreign professors, research scholars, short-term scholars and specialists in the United States temporarily.  Pertinent DOS policies and procedures related to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program are outlined on this page.

See Instructions for an F-1 or J-1 Visa for more information on requirements for entry.

Maintaining Status
In order to maintain your J-1 status, certain requirements and procedures must be followed.

  • Within 10 days of your arrival to the U.S., make an appointment for a new scholar orientation with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).  Please note that you should arrive no more than 30 days after the program start date on your DS-2019.

  • Maintain a valid passport.  If you should need to extend the validity of your passport while in the U.S., contact your embassy for application processing procedures and times.  Refer to The "Department of State Foreign Embassies in the U.S." list for the nearest embassy or consulate.

  • Do not accept unauthorized employment.  Your J-1 exchange program specifies approved activities in section 4 of your DS-2019.  Please consult ISSS prior to accepting any employment not authorized on your DS-1029.
  • Comply with Department of State federal health insurance requirements for J-1 exchange visitors and their dependents. Please refer to Exchange Visitor Program Participant (J-1/J-2) Mandatory Health Coverage Requirement found here for further details.
  • Report any address change to ISSS within 10 days of the change; ISSS will report your change of address directly to SEVIS.

Two Year Home Residency Requirement 212 (e)
J-1 Exchange Visitors who receive direct funding from their government or the U.S. government, or whose skills are determined to be specialized and in short supply by their home government (i.e. skills list) are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, Section 212(e) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. Those who are subject to this requirement are not eligible to change to another nonimmigrant visa status permitting employment, such as H-1B or adjust status to permanent resident, until they return to their home country for an aggregate period of two years or until they receive a waiver of the requirement upon recommendation of the home government or on other grounds. 

12 Month Bar
Anyone who has been in the US in any J status for more than six months, such as in the Specialist category, is barred from reentering the US as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for 12 months following the completion of his/her program or stay. This regulation does not apply to Short-term Scholars.

24 Month Bar
Anyone who has been in the US as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for any length of time and whose SEVIS record is no longer active is barred from reentering the US as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for 24 months following the completion of his/her program or stay. This only applies to those who completed programs after 11/17/2006.

If you and your sponsoring department wish to extend your J-1 program, please have your department request the extension of appointment from the Provost’s Office.  Please complete Part B of the Visiting Scholar DS-2019 Data Form and have your sponsoring department fill out Part A of the same form. Have the department submit these forms along with updated proof of financial solvency to the International Programs Center at least one month in advance to the end of you current program.  Extension requests submitted after the expiration of the program can not be processed.

30-Day Grace Period
As a J1 exchange visitor, you are eligible for a 30-day grace period that starts on the date your program ends. This period allows you to prepare for departure from the United States. Please note that you are technically not affiliated with UNCG during the 30-day grace period and thus you cannot receive payment or reimbursement for activity during this period.

Transfer to Another U.S. Institution/J-1 Sponsor
If you wish to transfer to another U.S. institution/J-1 sponsor, you will need preapproval from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, your current program sponsor.  Please consult your academic department sponsor, and complete and submit the Scholar Transfer Out Form to ISSS at least one month prior to your intended transfer out date.  Transfers in SEVIS are not possible after your program end date has expired. (Note: time spent in previous J-1 programs prior to the transfer, including at UNCG, will be counted toward the maximum stay allowed for each respective J-1 category.

See Overseas Travel for more information about scholars leaving the U.S.

J-2 Dependent Employment Authorization
If your adult J-2 dependent wishes to apply for employment authorization, please consult the ISSS office for instructions and forms.

Adding Dependents After Your Arrival
If your visiting scholar would like to bring his or her dependents to UNCG after his or her arrival, please have the international visiting scholar visit ISSS at the International Programs Center.

Change of Status From J-1 Visiting Scholar
If your visiting scholar wishes to change his or her status from J-1, please have him or her contact ISSS at the International Programs Center.

back to top of page