Limitations on J Status
J–1 Scholar: 5 Year Rule
The maximum period of participation for J Professors and Research Scholars is a five-year period, which starts from the program begin date on the DS–2019.
24 Month Bar:
There is a 24–month bar on repeat participation in the J Professor or Research Scholar categories. This means that any scholar who enters the US for any length of time in the Professor or Research Scholar categories is prohibited from returning to the US in the J Professor or Research Scholar categories for a period of two years.
The five-year period is a "continuous" period given to a participant on a "use or lose" basis.
A Research Scholar or Professor comes to Temple University for two years, and returns home for two months. Her Sevis record is maintained during her absence. After two months, s/he then returns to Temple University. In this case, s/he will have two years and ten months left in her J program. In other words, the two months outside of the U.S. counts toward the total five–year period. Please refer to www.temple.edu/isss/international/sevis-record-keep-open.html
A Research Scholar or Professor comes to TU for two years and returns home without remaining active on the current J program. While at home, the scholar and the TU department decide there is more work to be done and the department asks the J-1 to return to TU as a Research Scholar or Professor. In this case, the scholar is subject to the 24 month bar because the SEVIS record did not remain active. Therefore, the J-1 is prohibited from returning to the U.S. in the Research Scholar or Professor categories for two years following the completion date of the J program. For this scholar, other visa types or J categories may be an option.
24-Month Bar vs. the Two-Year Rule (212e):
The new 24-month bar should not be confused with the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement (212e). These are two completely different regulations.
The two year rule (212e) may apply to anyone who enters the U.S. on a J visa, based on 3 eligibility requirements. The 24–Month Bar only applies to J visa holders who enter the U.S. on the Research Scholar or Professor categories.
The 5-Year Period and 24-Month Bar do not apply to other J categories. Scholars who wish to return to the US without waiting 24 months, may do so on other visa types or in other J categories (i.e. : Short Term Scholar, J Student) based on their eligibility.
Application of the existing 12 Month Bar:
The existing 12 Month Bar will continue to apply to those who:
- Have been in the US in any J status (all categories, except the short–term scholar category) AND
- for six months or more in the 12-month period immediately preceding the proposed DS-2019 start date
Visitors who are subject to the 12 Month Bar are not eligible to begin a new program in the J Professor or Research Scholar categories until 12 months have passed since they were in J status actively participating to their program. However, they are eligible to return to the US on other visa types or in other J categories (i.e. Short Term Scholar, J Student).