Individuals who participate in a J Exchange Visitor program of any length in the Professor or Research Scholar categories are subject to a 24-month bar on "repeat participation" in the Professor or Research Scholar categories upon completion of their Exchange Visitor Program. Individuals subject to this bar may not return to the US as a J Exchange Visitor in the Research Scholar or Professor categories for a 24-month period. The 24-month bar occurs regardless of the duration of the program. Whenever the Exchange Visitor ends his/her program, the bar goes in effect. The Exchange Visitor will again be eligible for the Research Scholar or Professor category after being out of that status for 24 months.
Am I Subject to the 24-Month Bar?
Any J-1 Exchange Visitor in the Research Scholar or Professor category (and their J-2 dependents) whose program ends on or after November 18, 2006 is subject to the 24-month bar. The program end date can be found in section 3 of your DS-2019. The J-1 category can be found in section 4.
J exchange visitors in the Short-Term Scholar, Specialist or Student categories are not subject to the 24-month bar. The J category can be found in section 4 of your DS-2019.
Your Future Options
If you are subject to the 24-month bar, you will not be able return to the U.S. as a J-1 scholar in the Research Scholar or Professor categories for a two year period. However, you may be able to return in a different J-1 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 at the OIS or other institutions if you have plans to return to the U.S. in the future for research or teaching.
The 12-month bar is different than the 24-month bar. The 12-month bar applies to individuals who have been in J status previously (in a category other than Research Scholar or Professor) and then wish to hold J status in the Research Scholar or Professor categories. For more information, see 12-Month Bar.
Two Year Home Residency Requirement
The two-year home residency requirement is different and separate from the 24-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.