J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

What is a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa?

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was created by the U.S. Department of State to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. Participants approved to participate in the program will enter the U.S. as Exchange Visitors on a J-1 visa status. –Department of State

A J-1 is the most common visa type for international scholars and non-degree students at La Salle University. Scholars can come to La Salle as Exchange Visitors for a brief period to teach, conduct research, work on a project, sit on a panel and assist with curriculum planning.

Common Appointments

La Salle University has been authorized by the U.S. Department of State as a Program Sponsor for individuals in the following visa categories: Professor, Research Scholar, Short Term Scholar, and Student. The J-1 visa category is commonly used for visiting professors and lecturers of varying ranks and postdoctoral positions.

Student: An international visitor coming to the U.S. to engage full-time in a degree program or a prescribed course of study (non-degree study). There is a 2 year maximum for non-degree students.

Student Intern:   Objectives are for foreign college and university students to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and to receive hands-on experience.  Student interns may participate in an internship program for a minimum of 3 weeks and up to 12 months for each foreign degree/major.

Short-Term Scholar:  Objectives can be to lecture, observe, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills. Short-term scholars will come to the U.S. for a short visit and have no plans to continue beyond the 6-month limit. Visiting Short-term scholars may stay in the U.S. anywhere from 1 day to 6 months.

Professor:  The primary purpose is to teach, lecture, observe, or consult. The professor may also engage in research and participate in occasional lectures if authorized by the program sponsor. Visiting Professors may participate in the program for a minimum of 3 weeks and up to a total of 5 years, which includes transfers between exchange visitor programs.

Research Scholar:   This category is for an individual whose primary purpose is to perform research, observe, or consult in connection with a research project.  Visiting Research Scholars may participate in the program for a minimum of 3 weeks and up to a total of 5 years, which includes transfers between exchange visitor programs. They may not change their objective in the U.S.

A J-1 exchange visitor may hold J-1 status for the following time limits:

  • Students (Degree and Non-Degree) – 4 months to 2 years
  • Professors – 5 years or less
  • Researchers – 5 years or less
  • Short-Term Scholar – 6 months or less

How to Obtain a J-1 Visa

Due to increased security concerns in the United States, especially for citizens from countries in sensitive areas, the requirements for obtaining a J-1 visa vary widely from country to country. Please consult the United States Consulate in your home country or in the country you plan to apply for your visa for specific details about requirements.

Please contact Vanessa Valenzuela, Director of International Student & Scholar Services with questions or concerns.