Additional Requirements for J-1 Researchers & Professors
J-1 Exchange Scholars in the Researcher or Professor categories are subject to a mandatory 24-month bar, which specifies that at the end of the program, they cannot return to the U. S. in the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category for 24 months.
This includes exchange visitors currently in the Research Scholar or Professor category, or who have been in the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category in the past 24 months.
The 24-month bar goes into effect when the J-1 program finishes and the SEVIS record goes inactive, regardless of whether he/she was in status for only a few months or for the full five year limit of the J-1 program.
Therefore, to take advantage of the full five-year maximum of the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category, the exchange visitor could have an appointment of five continuous years to keep his or her SEVIS record active.
Re-Entry or Change of Status to Other Categories/Statuses
Scholars in the Researcher or Professor category are not banned from re-entering in other J-1 categories (such as the J-1 Short Term Scholar) or other nonimmigrant or immigrant visa statuses. The 24-month ban also does not prevent an individual from changing his/her status while in the United States.