12- and 24-Month Bar
These bars restrict starting a J-1 research scholar or J-1 professor exchange visitor program. The 24-month bar is different than the 2-year home residency requirement.
Time spent in the United States in any J status (including J-2) during the 12-months preceding the start date of the new professor or research scholar program may prohibit eligibility to begin the new program. Exceptions to this bar are:
- Transfer between program sponsors does not trigger the bar.
- Less than 6 months in J status does not trigger the bar.
- Participation in a J Short-term scholar program does not trigger the bar.
Anyone who participates in a J-1 Professor or J-1 Research Scholar program will become subject to a 24-month bar on repeat participation in both Professor and Research Scholar categories. This restriction applies under two circumstances:
- If the Professor or Research Scholar completes a full five years with one or more sponsors.
- If, before the full five-year period is over, the Professor or Research Scholar completes the program. In this case the remaining unused time is no longer accessible and must wait 24 months before beginning a new program as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar
The 24-month bar should not be confused with the two-year home residency requirement. These are two completely different regulations.
The two-year home residency requirement may apply to visitors in any J category. The 24-month bar only applies to J-1 Research Scholar or Professor categories or as a J-2 dependent of a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar.