J-1 Scholar Categories at UCSF
ISSO has been authorized to use the following categories as defined by the US Department of State for UCSF-sponsored Exchange Visitors. A summary of the definitions and regulations found in the Code of Federal regulations at 22CFR62 are as follows:
An individual concerned primarily with conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project and is also allowed to teach or lecture. The research scholar category:
- is used for UCSF appointments of 3 weeks to 5 years in duration
- allows for extensions up to the 5 year maximum
- is subject to a 24-month bar on return visits as a J research scholar at the end of the program
- may be able to return to the U.S. in a different J category (such as Short-Term Scholar) or in other visa categories such as F-1, B-1/ B-2, H-1B, WB, or WT (a.k.a. visa waiver program) during the 24-month bar period
A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a 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. The short-term category:
- is appropriate for appointments less than 6 months in length
- cannot be extended beyond 6 months
- NOT subject to the 24-month bar on return visits as a J-1 research scholar
Specialists are experts in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, who come to the United States to observe, consult, or demonstrate special skills. (Professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, and alien physicians are excluded from this category.) Some examples of fields represented include mass media communication, environmental science, youth leadership, international educational exchange, museum exhibitions, labor law, public administration, and library science. The purpose of the specialist category is to facilitate exchange among experts at scientific institutions, government agencies, museums, corporations, libraries, and similar types of institutions. The maximum duration of this category is one year. • Student This category provides foreign students the opportunity to study at a degree-granting post-secondary accredited educational institution. Students may participate in degree and non-degree programs. J-1 student status is granted to exchange visitors who are issued the Certificate of Eligibility Form DS-2019 for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at an accredited educational institution in the United States. J-1 students are required to maintain a permanent residence abroad to which they intend to return upon completion of their studies in the U.S. Please refer to the ISSO document “J-1 Student Status” for information and details concerning the use of the Exchange Visitor Program for students.
International Medical Graduates
The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is authorized by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to sponsor all J-1 exchange visitor physicians who participate in clinical training programs or advanced research programs (involving primarily observation, consultation, teaching or research). ECFMG is responsible for ensuring that J-1 physicians and host institutions meet the federal requirements for participation. ECFMG does not sponsor physicians for other U.S. visa types.
For more information, please visit ECFMG Information page.