J-1 Scholars – Exchange Visitor Information
The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for those individuals approved to participate in work- and study-based exchange visitor programs. The purpose of the program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. At the conclusion of their program, participants are expected to return to their home countries.
It is only appropriate for a professor or research scholar to come to the United States as an exchange visitor when the underlying purpose of his or her entry is to stimulate international collaborative teaching and/or research efforts or to promote interchange between research and educational institutions in the United States and other countries.
Many questions may be answered by reading the FAQs.
There are four principle categories within the Exchange Visitor Program in which U of I sponsors international visiting scholars:
A professor will primarily conduct teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting. They may also conduct research, unless the sponsor disallows.
A research scholar will primarily conduct research, observing or consulting in connection with a research project; or teach unless not approved by the sponsor.
A short term scholar is a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training or demonstrating special skills with a time period ranging from three days to a maximum of six months.
No extensions beyond the six months are permitted.
A specialist is an individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the United States for observing, consulting or demonstrating special skills.
Extensions beyond a one year program are not permitted.
U of I is designated by the United States Department of State as an official sponsor. The International Scholar Advisors in International Programs are the appointed Responsible Officers for advising program participants.