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Starting September 20, 2013, we'll be making changes to the format of our website. We ask for your patience as this may be a lengthy process. Contact Signe at if you have problems with website functionality or navigation.

New I-94 procedure
From April 30, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin implementing a paperless I-94 procedure at U.S. air and sea ports of entry.

FSIS's holiday schedule
FSIS will close from December 25 and will reopen on January 2.

EB immigrant visa availability
U.S. Department of State's monthly Visa Bulletin

J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories

EV Category Selection Criteria Eligibility Criteria* Duration of Participation
Professor An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, & similar types of institutions. May also conduct research.

Temporary appointment; non-tenure track position.

Participant has not been in the U.S. as a J-1 EV or J-2 dependent during the 12-month period immediately preceding the start date of a new EV program, unless the participant:

  • is transferring to the sponsor's program;
  • was in the U.S. less than 6 months; OR
  • was in a short-term scholar EV program.
3 weeks minimum, 5 years maximum.

An EV is barred from repeat participation for 2 years IF he/she:
  • Completes 5 full yrs of program participation with 1 or more sponsors; or
  • Completes a specific EV program & the SEVIS record becomes inactive before the full 5-year period ends.
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. May also teach or lecture.
Short-Term Scholar A professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the U.S. 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 type of institutions. Will participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, study tours, professional meetings, &/or similar types of educational & professional activities.

No minimum duration, 6 months maximum. No extensions beyond the 6-month maximum period are allowed.

Specialist Experts in such areas as mass media communications, environmental science, youth leadership, international educational exchange, museum exhibitions, labor law, public administration, library science, & other non-academic activities. Individual is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, he/she seeks to travel to the U.S. for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating his/her special knowledge or skills, AND he/she does not fill a permanent or long-term employment position while in the U.S. 3 weeks minimum, 1 year maximum. Extensions beyond the 1-year maximum period are allowed only in very limited cases with US Dept of State approval.
Non-Degree Student An individual who is engaged full-time in a non-degree "prescribed course of study" conducted by a post-secondary accredited academic institution.  Non-degree academic program must have a specific educational objective. Such course of study may include intensive English language training, classroom instruction, research projects, and/or academic training to the extent allowed by Department of State regulations.

During the program, student must meet one of these criteria:

1) Student/program is financed directly or indirectly by: (i) U.S. government, (ii) home country's government, or (iii) international organization of which the U.S. is a member by treaty or statute;

2) Program is pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. government and a foreign government;

3) Program is pursuant to a written agreement between: (i) U.S. and foreign academic institutions, (ii) U.S. academic institution and a foreign government, or (iii) U.S. state or local government and a foreign government;

4) Student is supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds.

2 years maximum. Matriculation from non-degree student category to degree student category and vice versa is not allowed.

*Individuals must be sufficiently proficient in the English language to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program.

Source:  22 CFR 62 (Department of State Exchange Visitor Program regulations)