J-1 Scholar Categories at UCSF

ISSO is authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue DS-2019 forms for the following J-1 categories:

Research Scholar/Professor
The primary purpose of a Research Scholar is to allow research, observation or consultation in connection with research projects; the Research Scholar is also allowed to teach or lecture. The primary purpose of a Professor is to teach or lecture; the Professor is also allowed to conduct research. Both the Research Scholar and Professor categories:

  1. are issued for UCSF appointments of 3 weeks to 5 years in duration
  2. allow for extensions up to the 5 year maximum
  3. are subject to a 24-month bar on repeat participation in either the Research Scholar or Professor categories
  4. 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 (visa waiver program) during the 24-month bar period


Short-Term Scholar
A professor, researcher, 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:

  1. is appropriate for appointments less than 6 months in length
  2. cannot be extended beyond 6 months
  3. NOT subject to the 24-month bar on return visits as a J-1 research scholar


Alien Physicians (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.