J-1 Scholar Eligibility
To be eligible for the J-1 Visiting Scholar Program, the exchange must meet the following basic requirements:
The U.S. Department of State has established several categories within the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. The category assigned to an individual visiting scholar is based upon the scholar’s background, the purpose and academic activities at NNU, past visit history, the possibility of repeat visits to the U.S., and anticipated length of stay
J-1 Scholar Categories
J-1 Visiting Scholars at Northwest Nazarene University will be placed in one of the following categories:
Research Scholar: An individual concerned primarily with conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. A research scholar may also teach or lecture.
Professor: An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. A professor may also participate in research. (The category term “professor” does not refer to academic title or home country title.)
Short-Term Scholar: A professor, researcher, or a person with similar education or accomplishments on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills.
Changing J-1 Categories: A change of J-1 category is not allowed once the J-1 visiting scholar has obtained his/her J-1 visa from a U.S. consulate.
12/24 Month Bars
Time spent in the U.S. as a J-1 visiting scholar or J-2 dependent might affect eligibility for future J-1 status in the Research Scholar or Professor categories. The periods of ineligibility are referred to as the 12- and 24-month bars.
The 24-Month Bar
Any individual who participates in a J-1 exchange program in the Research Scholar or Professor categories on or after Nov. 18, 2006 is subject to the 24-month bar on repeat participation in those same categories, regardless of the duration of the exchange program. Scholars subject to the bar may not return to the U.S. as a J-1 scholar in the Research Scholar or Professor categories for a 24-month period. The 24-month bar goes into effect once an exchange program ends and the SEVIS record becomes “inactive.” The scholar must then wait 24 months before beginning a new program as a J Research Scholar or Professor. The bar does not prevent scholars from returning in the Short-Term Scholar or Student J-1 categories.
The 12-Month Bar
The 12-month bar prohibits scholars from beginning a new exchange program in the Research Scholar or Professor categories if they were in the U.S. for more than six months in any J status during all or part of the twelve-month period immediately preceding the start date of the new program. If any part of a previous J status was within the twelve-month period, the entire duration of the J status is counted, and if the J status is over six months, then the 12-month bar applies.
Any J-2 dependent family members of a J-1 scholar subject to the 12- or 24-month bars are also subject to the same bar.
Two-Year Home Residency Requirement
The two-year home residency requirement is different and separate from the 24-month bar. Some scholars may be subject to one or both.
Two-Year Home Country Requirement
The two-year home country physical presence requirement (also known by its regulatory citation, “212(e)” applies to certain J-1 exchange visitors. Exchange visitors who are subject to the requirement must return to their home country of last legal residence for a two year period before they are eligible for certain US immigration benefits. While they are subject to 212e, exchange visitors are ineligible for the following:
The requirement does not prohibit exchange visitors from returning to the US in any other non-immigrant status, such as B-1/B-2 tourist, WB/WT visa waiver or F-1 student.
Once the exchange visitor has fulfilled the two year home country physical presence requirement, the above restrictions are lifted.
Who is subject to the requirement?
J-1 exchange visitors will be subject to the 212(e) requirement if they meet any one of the criteria below:
J-2 dependents (spouse and children under age 21) are subject to the 212(e) requirement if the J-1 exchange visitor is subject.
Fulfilling the Requirement
To fulfill the home residence requirement, exchange visitors subject to 212(e) must reside and be physically present in their country of nationality or last legal permanent residence for a period of at least two years following departure from the US after their exchange program. The two years of physical presence do not have to be continuous. Separate periods of residence spent over time after the exchange program has been completed may be aggregated to establish two years. It is recommended that exchange visitors keep records of their home country residence in order to document fulfillment of the 212(e) requirement.
Note that if an exchange visitor returns to the US for a new J-1 exchange program that is subject to 212(e), the visitor will be subject to the two year requirement again.
Waivers of the Requirement
Under certain circumstances a J-1 exchange visitor who is subject to the two year home country physical presence requirement may apply for a waiver of the requirement. Receiving a waiver can have serious consequences, so careful planning is important.
SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, a database system that facilitates electronic reporting and monitoring of information of international students and exchange visitors for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State. SEVIS enables schools and exchange program sponsors to transmit information for the creation of Certificates of Eligibility (DS-2019 for J exchange visitors), maintenance of J-1 records, and the reporting of “events” (changes in program information). This information is used by U.S. government agencies to track visitor status, issue visas, and to determine eligibility for immigration benefits.
Exchange Visitor Program Contacts
Exchange Visitor Program - Department of State
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Department of State
State Annex SA-5, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20522-0505
Phone: (202) 203-7131
Fax: (202) 203-7779
Northwest Nazarene University
Nancy Ayers – Responsible Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Willey – Alternate Responsible Officer: email@example.com
Dillon Luo - Director of Chinese Exchange and Cooperation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Insurance Requirement
Because of the importance of having health insurance in the U.S. it is a legal requirement of your J-1 visa. You and any J-2 dependents are legally required by the U.S. Department of State to have insurance for the entire duration of your program – from the day you arrive to the day you depart. Failure to maintain insurance coverage will result in the termination of your J-1 program and status.
To enroll in Northwest Nazarene University's health insurance plan, please contact the Wellness Center at email@example.com or (208)467-8466
Social Security and Tax Info
If you will be employed in the US you must have a Social Security Card. You must have an employer job offer letter before you can apply for a card. You may apply for a card at any Social Security office. They require you to bring your:
Be sure to GET YOUR RECEIPT as this is your only proof of employability until you receive your card in the mail. Be sure to provide the Social Security Office a valid mailing address on your application.
Social Security Office Location:
1118 South Kimball Ave
Caldwell, ID 83605
April 15th is the deadline for reporting income from the previous year. Reporting can be done as soon as you get your tax documents from your employer. To find out about your requirements and responsibilities, please consult a tax advisor and read the information on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website: https://www.irs.gov/.
IRS Income reporting information can be found:International TaxpayersForeign Student and Scholars