International Students and Scholars

328 O'Dowd Hall
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3358
Fax: (248) 370-3351

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and Info
The Exchange Visitor Program of the U.S. State Department and Oakland University invite and host international researchers and visiting professors, referred to as scholars. As a scholar, you can enter the United States on J immigration status that allows you to apply for a J visa at a U.S. consulate is called DS-2019. More information here

There are two types of scholars:
  • Short-Term Scholar: The maximum length of stay at OU is six months or less. There is no possibility of extension beyond six months for individuals who enter the United States on this category.
  • Research Scholar/Professor: The maximum length of stay at OU is three years with an extension up to five years.
Scholars are invited by specific faculty members in academic departments at Oakland University. The faculty member initiates the documentation to invite a scholar through the ISSO. Adequate funding for the scholar and accompanying dependents is required before visa documents are dispatched to the scholar. Such funding could be from a variety of sources that include the government, U.S. or foreign university, or personal funds of the scholar. Currently, the level of funding needed for a scholar is $1,225 per month with an additional $542 per month for accompanying spouse and $410 per month for each child.

Note: J immigration status also is granted to students who study in the United States. Scholars who intend to pursue a degree objective at Oakland University should not enter the United States on a scholar category. A change between scholar and student category is not possible within the United States.

A scholar is obligated to abide by the Exchange Visitor Program regulations of the U.S. State Department and the J category immigration and naturalization regulations. All advice related to the program and immigration status is available to the scholar through the responsible officers at the ISSO. More information on the length of J-1 Professor and Research Scholar visa is here

To maintain program and immigration status, a scholar must:
  • possess a valid passport from their home country;
  • have a valid DS-2019 and engage only in activities specified on the DS-2019;
  • have health insurance coverage at minimal levels (also for all dependents, spouse or children) required by the U.S. State Department;
  • file for timely extension and transfers; and
  • not engage in any unauthorized employment.
State Department

The ISSO provides scholars the resources for quality research and work experience including social experiences. We coordinate and administer programs that serve international students, faculty and visitors to the Oakland community.

DS-2019 and J-1 program

Your DS-2019 can take up to two weeks from receipt of completed request to be issued. We will email you a tracking number once your packet is mailed out. You may enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date listed on your DS-2019.

If you will arrive more than 30 days after the start date listed on your DS-2019, the start date must be amended. Please inform your departmental contact person of your delay, so an amended DS-2019 can be issued if necessary.

If your DS-2019 doesn’t allow you enough time to finish your J program, fill out the J-1 Scholar and Professor extension form and schedule an appointment with an ISSO adviser.

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

J-1 exchange visitors are subject to the two-year home country residence requirement to "reside and be physically present" in their "home" country for an aggregate of two years upon completion of their stay at a U.S. institution before being eligible for certain immigration benefits. This requirement is to ensure the program contributes to a mutual benefit for the home country of the scholar and the United States and enables true exchange of knowledge and skills.

Transfer between institutions

To request a transfer, you should submit our Transfer Out form for J-1 Scholars and schedule an appointment with an ISSO adviser. On your transfer release date, your SEVIS database record will be moved from Oakland University to your new institution. After that, your new school will be able to prepare an updated, “transfer” DS-2019 reflecting your new sponsorship.

If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., make sure you have these things in order to re-enter the United States. Please consult the International Student Advisors in the ISSO for further information. J-1 scholars must be mindful of visa concerns when planning any international travel.
  • A valid passport.
  • DS-2019 recently endorsed with a signature from the ISSO on the “Travel Validation” in the right bottom.
  • It is your responsibility to determine if the country you plan to visit requires a valid visa for you to enter.
  • Valid visa stamp in passport. Check the expiration date. If expired, you must renew at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
  • ANY time you leave the U.S., there is no guarantee you will be allowed to return.
  • If you have applied for an extension of stay or change of status, these procedures must be completed before travelling outside the U.S.
Travel Outside USA - With an Expired VISA

If your F-1 visa is expired, you may not need to obtain a new visa if you plan a short trip (less than 30 days) to another country in North America. This is called Automatic Revalidation of an expired visa. The following conditions apply:
  • Your trip must be limited to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island.
  • Your trip must be less than 30 days in length.
  • To re-enter the USA you must have:
    • a passport that is valid six months into the future
    • an updated I-20 or validated DS-2019 within the past six months
    • expired F-1 or J-1 visa or proof of a visa change of status to F-1 or J-1
  • If you apply for a new U.S. visa during your stay outside the country, you are NOT eligible for Automatic Revalidation. 
  • If you have applied for an extension of stay or change of status, these procedures must be completed before traveling outside the U.S.
  • If you are a citizen of Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea or Cuba, you are not eligible for Automatic Revalidation of an expired visa.

Travel Inside the USA

Whenever you are within the U.S., you are required to have your passport (with visa stamp), and DS-2019 with you. joienoai

Details For
Information for Department Sponsors
The exchange of professors and research scholars promotes the exchange of ideas, research, mutual enrichment and linkages between research and academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries.

J-1 Professor and Research Scholars must:
  • Not be a candidate for a tenure track position
  • Not have participated in and completed a professor or research scholar program within the last 24 months preceding the beginning date of their new program’s commencement
  • Not have participated in a J-Visa program for all or part of the 12-month period immediately preceding the start date of a professor or research scholar program unless they meet one of the following exceptions:
    • The participant is currently in a professor or research scholar program and is transferring to another institution in the United States to continue their current J-1 program
    • The participant’s prior physical presence in the U.S. on a J-visa program was less than six months in duration.
    • The prior participation was as a short-term scholar. 
If the scholar meets all requirements above, a J-1 visa might be a good fit for your department.

Research Scholar
This category is for a foreign national who enters the United States for the primary purpose of conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with research projects at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor.

The research scholar or professor’s appointment to a position shall be temporary, even if the position itself is permanent.

Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant’s program, and do not delay the exchange program’s completion date.

The professor category is for a foreign national who enters the United State for the primary purpose of teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at accredited post-secondary academic institutions, museums, libraries or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsoring organization.

Processing DS-2019 Paperwork
  • To successfully obtain a J-1 visa visiting scholar/professor paperwork for DS-2019 must be completed 45 days prior to the scholar’s program start date.
  • Short Term Scholars are for programs 6 months or less. Short term scholars cannot extend program beyond 6 months.
  • Research Scholars are for programs over 6 months up to 5 years.
  • Visiting scholars/professors must have 3rd party funding. Scholars cannot support their stay solely on personal funding. It is the responsibility of the J-1 applicant to waive any 212(e) requirements with their home country government.


12- and 24- Months Bars for Professors and Research Scholars

The 12 and 24 month rule affects J-1 exchange visitors who have been in the U.S. on a J-1 visa previously, and wish to return on the same visa. The bars prohibit repeat participation in the ‘Research Scholar’ or ‘Professor’ categories only. Depending on what your previous J category was, you may be subject to a 12 month bar, a 24 month bar or have no bar at all. If you are coming to the U.S. in a J category that is NOT “Research Scholar” or “Professor” (such as “Short-Term Scholar or “Student Intern”), you are transferring your current J-1 program from another US institution to continue your academic/research activities at OU or you have never been in the US on J status, these bars will not apply to you.


12- Month Bar on Participation:

Individuals who have been in the U.S. for more than six months within the previous 12 months on any J visa status are not eligible to enter the U.S. as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for a 12-month period afterwards. The 12-month bar applies to both the J-1 principal and any J-2 dependents. The 12-month bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the U.S. in any other visa status or in some other J categories such as Short-Term Scholar or Student.

24- Months Bar on Participation:

Any individual who participates in an Exchange Visitor program in the Professor or Research Scholar categories is subject to a 24-month bar on “repeat participation” in those categories. Scholars subject to the bar may not return to the U.S. as a J-1 scholar in the Professor or Research Scholar categories for the 24-month period. This bar also applies to J-2 dependents.

When a scholar either concludes or leaves a Research Scholar or Professor J-1 program, the scholar's record becomes inactive in SEVIS. At that point, the 24-month bar time starts to accrue. The 24-month bar will be in effect regardless of whether status in the program is a few months in duration or the full five years allowed.

It is extremely important for the ISSO to be informed of a scholar's departure and his/her future plans, so that the scholar's SEVIS record can be properly maintained to facilitate his/her possible return to the U.S. In some cases, it might be possible to keep a scholar's SEVIS record active if he/she will be out of the country yet continuing the program. We recommend contacting an advisor at the ISSO to discuss a visitor's plans and intention to return to the U.S. in the future so the SEVIS record may be correctly managed.

The 24-month bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the U.S. in any other visa status


The 12- and 24-month bar are NOT the same as the two-year home residence requirement (212e). These are two completely different regulations.

The two year rule (212e) may apply to visitors in any J category. The 24-month bar only applies to J visa holders who enter the U.S. on the Research Scholar or Professor categories or as a J-2 dependent of a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar. More information about 212e.

I moved. How do I report my change of address?
If you move you must fill out a Change of Address Form and submit it to the ISSO within 10 business days.

How can my spouse/child under 21 join me in the U.S. as my J-2 dependent?
To obtain J-2 DS-2019 documents for your spouse and/or minor children under 21 years, please download and complete the appropriate request form for J-2 Dependent Application and schedule an appointment with the ISSO adviser.

What should I do if I'm finishing my J-1 program and getting ready to depart Oakland University?
If you are ending your participation at Oakland University please fill out the J-1 Visiting Scholar Notice of Departure form.

What is the 12-Month Bar?
12-Month Bar: A foreign national is ineligible to participate in a professor/research scholar exchange program if he or she has held any J nonimmigrant status within the 12 months preceding the start of the exchange program.

What is the 24-Month Bar?
24-Month Bar (also known as the Two-Year Bar): An individual who participates in the Exchange Visitor Program as a J-1 professor/research scholar becomes subject to the 24-Month Bar on "repeat participation" in those particular categories after completing his or her program even if the program lasts less than five years.

My J-1 entry visa will expire next month, but my DS-2019 will still be valid for another year. Do I need to go home to renew my entry visa now?
No. You are allowed to remain in the country with an expired U.S. entry visa, as long as the rest of your documents (passport, I-94, DS-2019) are still valid. However, you do need a valid J-1 visa to enter the United States; therefore, the next time you go abroad, you will need to apply for a new entry visa before returning to the United States. We always recommend that you apply for a visa in your home country.