Individuals who participate in a J Exchange Visitor program of any length in any J status* are subject to a 12-month bar upon completion of their Exchange Visitor program. The 12-month bar prohibits an individual from obtaining J-1 status in the Research Scholar or Professor categories if the individual was physically present in any J status (including J2 status) for all or part of the 12-month period immediately preceding the new J program start date. The 12-month bar occurs regardless of the duration of the initial program.
*Presence in J status as a Short-term Scholar does not trigger the 12-month bar.
Am I Subject to the 12-Month Bar?
Any J Exchange Visitor in any category and their J-2 dependents (except for J Short-term Scholars) whose J-1 program ends is subject to the 12-month bar. The program end date can be found in section 3 of the DS-2019. The J category can be found in section 4.
Your Future Options
If you are subject to the 12-month bar, you will not be able return to the U.S. as a J-1 scholar in the Research Scholar or Processor category for a 12-month period after the end of your prior J status. However, you may be able to return in a different J category or with a different type of visa. You may also consider extending your current J-1 status for a longer period, if possible. It is important that you consult with an advisor in the OIS or other sponsoring institution if you have plans to return to the U.S. in the future for research or teaching.
24-Month Bar on Repeat Participation
The 24-month bar is different than the 12-month bar. The 24-month bar applies to individuals in the J Research Scholar or Professor categories seeking repeat participation in those categories. For more information, see 24-Month Bar.
Two Year Home Residency Requirement
The two-year home residency requirement is different and separate from the 12-month bar. For more information, see 2 Year Home Residency Requirement.
If you have questions about J-1 Exchange Visitor status, please contact the OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org.