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 for research, observation or consultation in connection with research projects. Research Scholars may also teach or lecture. The primary purpose of a Professor is to teach or lecture. Professors are 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. Appointments that are initially less than five years are eligible for extensions with the UC department’s support as long as there is not a break in service.
  3. are subject to a 24-month bar on repeat participation. The 24-month bar is triggered by program completion, regardless of whether the exchange visitor completes their program in 1 year or 5 years. 
  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
  5. could be subject to the 212e home residency requirement


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. is ineligible for back-to-back short term scholar programs
  4. NOT subject to the 24-month bar on return visits as a J-1 research scholar
  5. could be subject to the 212e home residency requirement


Student Non-Degree: The J-1 Student Non-Degree category allows for a prescribed full-time course of study from one month to twenty four months. Exchange Visitors (except Short-Term Scholars) present in the U.S. for six months or more are not eligible to return to the U.S. in the J-1 Research Scholar or J-1 Professor category for 12 months. J-2 dependents are also subject to the 12-month bar. The 12-month bar does not prevent J-1s or J-2s from returning to the U.S. as a J-1 Short-Term Scholar or in any other visa classification such as F-1, B-1, B-2, H-1B, WB or WT.


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.