Individuals who have been in the United States for more than six months in the previous year (12 months) in J visa status are not eligible to enter the United States as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for a 12-month period. Time spent in the J-1 Short-term Scholar category does not count towards the 12-month bar. 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 United States in any other immigration status, such as B-2 tourist, B-1 business visitor, F-1 student, H-1B or in the J-1 student or short-term scholar categories.
The 24-Month Bar
Any individual who participates in an Exchange Visitor program in the Professor or Researcher Scholar category on or after November 18, 2006 is subject to a 24-month repeat participation bar. Scholars subject to the 24-month bar may not return to the United States as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for the 24-month period. This bar also applies to J-2 dependents.
Impact of the 24-Month Bar
When a Professor or Research Scholar either concludes or leaves a J-1 program, whichever happens earlier, the scholar's record becomes inactive in SEVIS. At that point, the 24-month bar time starts to accrue. Therefore, it is extremely important for OIP to be informed of a scholar's departure from Babson and her/his future plans, so that the scholar's SEVIS record can be properly maintained to facilitate her/his possible return to the U.S.
Note: The 24-month bar is not the same as the Two Year Home Residence Requirement. The 24-month bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the United States in any other visa status, such as B-2 tourist, B-1 business visitor, F-1 student, H-1B or in J-1 status in the student or short-term scholar categories.
Frequently Asked Questions about the 24-Month Bar for Research Scholars and Professors
1. Q: Can I change jobs and have a new J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar visa with a new employer within the 5 year limit?
A: Yes. If a J-1 professor/ research scholar moves to a new job with another university (that also sponsors J-1 visas) s/he can transfer to the J-1 program of the new employer. Scholars may extend and change employers via the J-1 transfer process for up to 5 years.
NOTE: There cannot be a gap of time between employers. Scholars need to communicate to both employers their intent to remain in the United States on a J-1 visa.
2. Q: What if I need to leave the United States for a meeting or conference -- will I have to wait 24 months before I can return?
A: No. As long as the J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar continues with the original Babson College affiliation, short stays outside the United States are permitted, and do not constitute completion of their J program.
3. Q: I have a J-1 Professor/Research Scholar visa that is only valid for one year. I may stay longer if my funding is renewed for an additional year. Will I have to go home for 24 months or can I extend my J-1 visa for the second year?
A: J-1 Professor/Research Scholars may extend their stay for up to 5 years as long as there is no gap of time and OIP receives the request of extension before the expiration of their current Forms DS-2019.
4. Q: Are the two year home residency requirement and the 24-month bar the same thing?
A: No. As mentioned in #2 above, the 24-month bar affects only scholars who have been in J-1 status in the Professor/ Research Scholar category, and who wish to use the same category again. The two-year home residence requirement can be an issue for anyone in J status holder - not just those in the J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar category.
5. Q: During my 24 months outside the United States, may I return to the United States for short visits?
A: Yes. You may return to the United States on any other type of visa for which you qualify (including on the J-1 visa in the Short-Term Scholar category); you are only prevented from returning on the J-1 visa in the Professor/ Research Scholar category.