Extended Education and International Programs

Global Engagement


The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has multiple categories in which foreign nationals may come to the United States to engage in research collaboration, instruction, and lecturing. CSUMB offers three categories of Exchange Visitors: Professor, Research Scholar, and Short-Term Scholar.

  • Professor: A foreign national whose primary purpose is teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited academic institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions. A professor also may conduct research where authorized by the sponsor. (Minimum: 3 weeks; Maximum: 5 Years)
  • Research Scholar: A foreign national whose primary purpose is conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar also may teach or lecture where authorized by the sponsor. (Minimum: 3 weeks; Maximum: 5 Years)
  • Short-Term Scholar: A foreign national who is a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments who enters the United States for a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. (Minimum: N/A; Maximum: 6 Month)
  • To apply for a J-1 visa you will need to:

    • Demonstrate your proficiency in the English language.
    • Provide proof of a valid passport.
    • Provide proof of finances.
    • Pay the SEVIS fee. You will need your SEVIS ID number from your DS-2019.
    • Complete Form DS-160
    • Make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for your J-1 visa.
    • Take all of your paperwork with you to the visa appointment. This includes your DS-2019, SEVIS fee receipt, financial support documents and visa photos as well as any other documents requested by the U.S. Embassy in your home country.
    • At the visa interview, applicants must also demonstrate to the consular officer that they have binding ties to a residence in a foreign country which they have no intention of abandoning, and that they are coming to the U.S. for a temporary period.
    • The J-1 visa will be stamped in your passport and the DS-2019 will be returned to you for presentation to the United States Department of Homeland Security officials when you enter the United States.

    At the port of entry, the DS-2019 will be date stamped and returned to you. Your I-94 documents your temporary stay in the United States. You can retrieve your electronic I-94 at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/.

  • 212(e) two-year home country physical presence requirement

    Certain J-1 Exchange Visitors are subject to a two-year home country physical presence requirement. J-1 visitors "subject" to this rule must return to their country of last legal residence for two years or obtain a waiver of this requirement before they are eligible for the H (temporary employment), L (intracompany transfer) or Permanent Residence (Green Card) categories.

    This requirement does not prohibit a visitor from returning to the U.S. in any other immigration status. For example, if the visitor wishes to return as a tourist or student within the two-year period and meets the requirements for those entries, the two-year physical presence requirement does not prohibit this.

    Who is subject to the requirement?

    • Home Government Funding: J-1 visitors who receive funding directly from their home country's government are “subject” to the 212(e) requirement.
    • Medical Education and Training: Any J-1 visitor is subject if he/she is a foreign medical graduate and came to the U.S. to obtain graduate medical education or training.
    • The Exchange Visitor Skills List: J-1 visitors whose area of specialization has been identified as being in short supply by her/his government of legal permanent residence is considered "subject."
    • Funding from an International Organization or Bi-National Commission: J-1 visitors who receive funding from International Organizations or Bi-National Commissions (organizations that receive their funding from government sources), such as, United Nations, NATO, or the European Community.
    • U.S. Government Funding: J-1 visitors who receive funding directly from the U.S. government are "subject" to 212(e).

    Are J-2 dependents subject?

    If you are a dependent of a J-1 visitor who is subject to the 212(e) requirement, you are also subject to this requirement. Please note that J-2 dependents must rely on the J-1 to apply for a waiver of the 212(e) requirement. J-2s may not apply for the waiver separately from the J-1.

    What being subject to 212(e) means

    If you are subject to 212(e), you:

    • Are not eligible to obtain an H or L visa at a U.S. consular office.
    • Are not eligible to change status from J to any other non-immigrant status from within the U.S. except to “A” or “G”.
    • Are not eligible for lawful permanent residence status.

    When should you see an advisor?

    If you have a question about whether you are subject to the 212(e) requirement, or how and when to apply for a waiver, you should make an appointment to speak with an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) at International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS).

    • Do not assume that your visa stamp or DS-2019 have been marked correctly by U.S. government agencies, especially if any of the above "subject" criteria apply. When an ARO feels the assessment has been made in error, you may submit a request for an advisory opinion from the U.S. Department of State.
    • CSUMB’s International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) advises that students/scholars do not apply for a waiver of the two-year home country physical presence requirement without first discussing the timing of the request with an ARO. Once a "No Objection" recommendation is received from the Department of State, no further extension of the DS-2019 or transfer of the J-1 program is possible.

    24-month bar on repeat participation

    The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has amended its regulations for J-1 Exchange Visitors in the Professor and Research Scholar categories. The rule states that Professors and Research Scholars can participate in the Exchange Visitor Program for up to five years on a “use it or lose it” basis. It also establishes eligibility requirements for repeat participation in these categories.

    Exchange Visitors in the Professor and Research Scholar categories are subject to a two-year bar on “repeat participation” in those categories after completing or breaking the continuity of a five-year period of eligibility. The two-year bar applies in two circumstances:

    1. If the Professor or Research Scholar completes a full five years of a program participation with one or more sponsors.
    2. If, before the full five-year period is over, the Professor or Research Scholar completes his or her program. In this case, the individual’s SEVIS record becomes INACTIVE. He or she is not eligible to access the unused time and must wait two years before beginning a new program as a Professor or Research Scholar.

    Therefore, in order to access a full five years of eligibility, the SEVIS record must be kept ACTIVE. This requires a continuous period of program participation. If a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar’s DS-2019 end date is reached, he/she must either:

    1. Extend his/her J-1 status under the CSUMB Exchange Visitor Program; or
    2. Transfer to another Exchange Visitor Program. The SEVIS record will automatically become INACTIVE the day after the DS-2019 end date.

    The 24-month bar should not be confused with the two-year rule, 212(e). These are two completely different regulations. The two-year rule, 212(e), may apply to anyone who enters the U.S. on a J-status visa. The 24-month bar only applies to J visa holders who enter the U.S. in the Research Scholar or Professor categories.

    The 24-month bar on repeat participation does not require the individual to reside in his or her home country as does 212(e), nor does it require that the scholar leave the United States. It requires only that he or she not be in J Professor or Research Scholar status for two years before becoming eligible for a new five-year period of program eligibility in J Professor or Research Scholar status.

    12-month bar provision

    If an exchange visitor is not subject to a 24-month bar, they may still be subject to a 12-month bar. However, individuals subject to the 24-month bar are not subject to the 12-month bar.

    An exchange visitor who has held any J-status visa may not begin a new program in a Research Scholar or Professor J-1 category until 12 months have elapsed since the last day of the previous program. The 12-month bar does not apply to a visitor who:

    1. Is transferring to another institution to continue a current programs as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor; or
    2. Held the previous J-status for less than six months (in a Short-Term Scholar category, for example).

    J-1 health insurance requirements

    IMPORTANT: The U.S. Department of State (DOS) requires all J-1 Exchange Visitors and their accompanying J-2 dependents to have health insurance for the entire duration of the exchange visitor's stay. CSUMB must terminate an exchange visitor's program if the visitor (or a dependent) fails to comply with the insurance requirement. J-1 professors and scholars must provide International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) with proof of coverage upon arrival at CSUMB for the first time and before an extension of stay will be granted.

    U.S. Department of State requirements

    • Minimum coverage must provide:
    1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
    2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
    3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of exchange visitors to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and
    4. Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
    • Insurance policies secured to fulfill these requirements:
    1. May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions that is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
    2. May include provisions for coinsurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness; and
    3. Must not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.
    • Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fill the above requirements must, at minimum, be:
    1. Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A-“ or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A-“ or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above, a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of “A-“ or above; a Moody’s Investor Services rating of “A3” or above; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
    2. Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country; or
    3. Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
    4. Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization or eligible Competitive Medical Plan as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    You must submit a copy of your health insurance policy, in English, showing that the coverage meets DOS requirements and is in effect by the start of your J-1 Program. You will submit when you check in at ISSS, within ten days of your arrival, and your SEVIS record will not be validated until you have done so.

    Coverage from home country

    J-1 Exchange Visitors are welcome to bring health insurance for themselves and their dependents from their home countries for the duration of their J-1 Program, provided the insurance documentation is in English showing that coverage meets DOS requirements and is in effect by the start of the J-1 program.

    30-day grace period after completing J-1 program

    Upon successful completion of the J-1 program, the Exchange Visitor will have an additional 30 days to remain in the U.S., however, s/he may not be employed, engage in research activities or perform unpaid work during this 30-day grace period. The 30-day grace period is intended for purposes of traveling within the U.S., packing, and preparing for departure from the U.S.

    J-2 dependent(s)

    Dependents are defined as the spouse and minor children (under 21 years of age) of the J-1 Exchange Visitor. Dependent spouses and children of J-1 visitors usually enter the U.S. on J-2 visas. Each dependent will need to use his/her own DS-2019 in order to obtain a J-2 visa at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate and to enter the U.S.

    J-2 status does not give the J-2 permission to work, but it gives the person the right to apply for work authorization from USCIS. The J-2 does not have legal permission to work until the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is approved by USCIS. There is no restriction on study for J-2 dependents. A J-2 dependent's status terminates upon termination/completion of the J-1’s participation in the Exchange Visitor Program.

  • As a J-1 Exchange Visitor you enjoy certain benefits, but you also have specific guidelines to maintain your status. International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) can help you understand immigration rules, but maintaining your immigration status is your responsibility.

    Upon arrival in the U.S.

    Check-in at ISSS to activate your SEVIS record. If your SEVIS record is not activated within 30 days of the program start date, USCIS considers you to be in violation of your immigration status. Please bring the following documents:

    • Passport
    • Visa
    • I-94
    • DS-2019 form
    • Local address
    • Phone number
    • Evidence of health insurance, if not covered by CSUMB’s policy

    If you have a spouse or children with you in the U.S., please bring their paperwork as well.

    IMPORTANT: If you're unable to meet the arrival date listed on your DS-2019, ask ISSS to defer your entry date in SEVIS. If you do not check-in during your 30-day grace period, we'll be unable to activate your record.

    While in the U.S.

    • Maintain a valid, unexpired DS-2019.
      • If necessary, your host department must request an extension before the end date of your DS-2019. Be sure to request an extension at least 30 days before your program is to expire.
    • Maintain a valid unexpired passport.
      • The passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
    • Perform employment only as specified on the DS-2019.
      • Your department must get authorization from ISSS before you can work outside of CSUMB or participate in occasional lectures at another institution.
    • Maintain required health insurance coverage.
    • Update your address information within 10 days of moving by completing the Change of Personal Information Form.
    • To travel outside the U.S. you must have your DS-2019 signed by International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) before departure.
    • You must have a social security number to work in the U.S.

    To transfer your program

    Schedule an appointment with ISSS to discuss transfer eligibility and requirements.