The 12- and 24-month bars determine when a current or previous J-1 exchange visitor is eligible for a second visit to the US in the J-1 Professor or Research Scholar category.

A 24-month bar on repeat participation in the J-1 Professor or Research Scholar categories was instituted by the US Department of State (DOS) for exchange visitors upon completion of their J-1 programs. This means that all J-1 Professors or Research Scholars (not those in the Short-term Scholar category) will be barred from participation in the same category for two years from the end date of their programs.

For example, a professor whose J-1 program is from September 1, 2015 - May 31, 2016, will not be able to return to the US as a J-1 Professor (or Research Scholar) until May 31, 2018. This is a different rule from the two-year home residency requirement.

In addition to the 24-month bar on repeat participation, J-1 regulations prohibit participation of any exchange visitor coming for a new program in the category of Professor or Research Scholar (indicated in section 4 of the DS-2019 form) who has been in any J status during the 12-month period immediately before the start date on her/his new form DS-2019 with the following exceptions:

  • the new program is a transfer from another institution;
  • presence in the US in the previous program was for less than six months; or,
  • presence in the US in the previous program was under the category of short-term scholar.

The charts below show what bar on repeat paricipation may apply to you, if any, based on your current or previous J-1 status.

Please note, OGS will review details of any prior participation in J-1 programs before issuing a new DS-2019 to ensure that these programs are not being used to circumvent a bar on repeat participation. In addition to formal bars on repeat participation, eligibility assessment will include review of the dates, category, and program objectives of prior J-1 programs.

J visa category held for LESS than 6 months Applicable bar on repeat participation
Any J-1 category other than Research Scholar/Professor 12 or 24 month bars do not apply
J-2 Dependent of any J-1 category other than Research Scholar/Professor 12 or 24 month bars do not apply
J-1 Research Scholar/Professor 24 month bar on repeat participation
J-2 Dependent of Research Scholar/Professor 24 month bar on repeat participation
J visa category held for MORE than 6 months Applicable bar on repeat participation
Any J-1 category other than Research Scholar or Professor 12 month bar on repeat participation
J-2 Dependent of any J-1 Research Scholar/Professor 12 month bar on repeat participation
J-1 Research Scholar/Professor 24 month bar on repeat participation
J-2 Dependent of Professor/Research Scholar 24 month bar on repeat participation