J-1 Scholar Exchange Visitor Program

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange, in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the US and other countries. AU sponsors J-1 Exchange Visitors participating in academic research, teaching and consulting at AU. The J-1 is often used for scholars with official appointments such as visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars, as well as other temporary academic appointments. For more information on the Exchange Visitor Program, please visit the Department of State website. AU's International Faculty and Research Scholar Services sponsors foreign nationals for J-1 Exchange Visitor visas in the following categories: Professor, Research Scholar, Specialist, Short-term Scholar, and Student Intern.

Categories and Maximum Length of Stay:

The total length of an exchange visitor’s authorized stay in the US depends on the category listed in Section 4 of the DS-2019. For transfers, please note that the maximum length of stay includes any previous, consecutive time spent at another institution.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Category Primary Purpose with AU Maximum Possible Length of Stay Subject to a 12-or 24-Month Bar on Repeat Participation?
Research Scholar Research; can also teach/ lecture, consult, or observe in educational settings 5 years Yes, 24- Month Bar applies
Professor Teach/lecture; can also research, consult, or observe in educational settings 5 years Yes, 24- Month Bar applies
Short-Term Scholar Research, teach/lecture, consult, or observe special projects 6 months No
Specialist Observe, consult, or demonstrate their special knowledge or skills; must demonstrate extraordinary knowledge or experience in specific field; CANNOT teach or research 12 months 12-Month Bar applies if program lasts 6+ months


In order to qualify for AU sponsorship in the J-1 scholar categories (Professor, Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist), you must:

  • have an approved temporary (not tenure/not -tenure-track) academic position or affiliation with AU;
  • demonstrate appropriate English language proficiency;
  • show proof of financial support;
  • have appropriate academic qualifications (generally at least a Master's degree, or a Bachelor's plus equivalent experience).

There are certain restrictions that may make you ineligible for the Research Scholar or Professor J-1 category if you have held J status in the past.

Request J-1 Sponsorship

The academic department should reach out to Kayleigh Jones, in Human Resources, and she will follow up with further instructions and information.