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Categories of Exchange Visitors

The following provides a brief description of the categories of Exchange Visitors:

Professor

An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor. The participant shall not be a candidate for tenure track position. The maximum stay for a professor is 42 months.

Research Scholar

An individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate, research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. The research scholar also may teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor. The participant shall not be a candidate for tenure track position. The maximum stay for a Research Scholar is 42 months.

Short-Term Scholar

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 at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. Examples include educators, scientists, research fellows, writers and museum administrators. The short-term scholar may also engage in collaborative research. The maximum duration of stay as 6 months, extensions beyond 6 months is not permitted.

J-1 Specialist

An individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the United States for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills. An individual is eligible to be classified as a specialist if he or she:

  • is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill;
  • seeks to travel to the United States for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating his or her special knowledge or skills; and
  • does not fill a permanent or long-term position of employment while in the U.S.
A specialist can participate in the Exchange Visitor Program for the length of time necessary to complete the program, not to exceed one year.