Visiting Scholar Program Requirements

Visiting Scholar J-1 Visa Categories

Your J-1 visa program Category defines the maximum length of your program and the permitted activity during your stay. Your category is listed on the Form DS-2019.

Research Scholar: For research activity up to 5 years program length. Subject to 24 month bar.

Professor: For teaching activity up to 5 years program length. Subject to 24 month bar.

Short Term Scholar: For teaching/research/observing, up to 6 months.

Specialist: For observing/training/consulting in areas that require advanced specialized knowledge, up to 1 year.

Student Intern: To do an internship for your home country degree for up to 1 year.

12/24 Month Bar

If you are a J-1 exchange visitor in the Research Scholar or Professor category, you must wait 24 months after completing your current program before returning to the U.S. to conduct another Research Scholar or Professor J-1 exchange program. In addition, a 12-month bar applies to nearly all J-1/J-2 visitors on future visits in the Research Scholar or Professor category: you will not be eligible for either category of J-1 visa if you have been in the United States with any J visa type in the 12 months prior to the Research Scholar/Professor program start date. An exception to this rule is for those who were in the Short Term Scholar category, or whose total J program duration was 6 months or less.

212(e) Two Year Home Residency Requirement

Some J-1 visiting scholars are subject to the 212(e) two-year home residency requirement, which requires you to live in your country of legal permanent residence for cumulative two years after you complete your J-1 exchange program to fulfill your obligation under this requirement. This is different than the 24-month bar described above. You will be subject to this rule if you receive government funding to conduct your exchange program, or if your home country maintains a list of skills that are in high demand in your home country, and your subject of scholarly activity is in one of those designated skills. The effect of this rule is that you will not be eligible to have an immigrant visa to the U.S. until you have lived in your home country for a cumulative period of two years. If you have not yet lived at home for two years, you may still obtain a new nonimmigrant visa to the U.S., but you must apply for that visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the United States (you are not eligible to change visa types within the U.S). For more questions about your 212(e) status, please contact ISSS.

SEVIS Quick Tips – Updated 212(e) Guidance – SEVIS and 212e_v3

Working and Taking Classes

J-1 visiting scholars are not permitted to work while in the United States, except under the terms of their J-1 exchange program (for example, if you are receiving payment for your visit to UConn, and this is recorded on your Form DS-2019, this is OK employment). Visiting scholars may only take classes incidental to status, meaning this should be done in your free time outside of your regular scholarly activity only.

Occasional Lectures and Short Term Consultations

Visiting scholars in the Research Scholar, Professor and Short Term scholar may be given permission to engage in occasional lectures or occasional consultations with outside institutions. You must have the support of your UConn academic hosting department, obtain prior permission from ISSS and the activity cannot interfere with the completion of your exchange program. Follow these application instructions with your hosting department and ISSS at least two weeks prior to any lecture or consultation engagement: J-1 Scholar Authorization for Off-Site Work.

Location of Program and Off Site Activity

You are expected to conduct your exchange program at UConn. Sometimes you are required or will have the opportunity to conduct your exchange program with UConn at a different location. Examples may include representing UConn at an academic conference, or conducting research for your UConn program at an off-campus laboratory. Such off-site activity must be authorized in advance and recorded in your SEVIS record. Complete the J-1 Scholar Authorization for Off-Site Activity and submit to ISSS through the UConn Scholar Employee Portal at least two weeks before the proposed activity.

Log into the Scholar Employee Portal with your email address and password (do not use your NetID to login).
Click on Requests and select Off Site Activity Authorization to answer questions and upload the form above.

Changing Departments

Your J-1 visa is based on completion of scholarly work in a specific field or academic discipline. Therefore it is generally not possible to change your UConn hosting department after your arrival. Certain exceptions may be made when ISSS determines that your program objective will remain consistent when changing academic departments.


All J-1 and J-2 visa holders must maintain insurance for the entirety of your J-1 program that meets the coverage and benefit requirements of the U.S. Department of State. You will be required to submit an Insurance Verification Form to our office at any time that you submit an application to ISSS. Please see the medical insurance page for further information.

Medical benefits $100,000
Repatriation of remains $25,000
Medical evacuation $50,000
Maximum Deductible per accident or illness $500

Additionally, all J exchange visitors, including J-2 spouses and dependent(s), may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.  For more information on the Affordable Care Act, see and (note that J-1 scholars and J-1 students have different exempt periods: 2 years vs. 5 years). Please see our insurance page for further information.

Update your address

All J-1 exchange visitors must update your address with ISSS within 10 days of moving. Please Login to the ISSS Scholar/Employee Portal with your email address and password (do not use your NetID to login).  Click on the pencil icon next to “My Contact Information” to update your U.S. Physical Address, email address or CT phone number.


Spouses and children under the age of 21 are eligible to have J-2 status. Your J-2 dependent visa holders may attend school or University, and may apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for an Employment Authorization Document to legally work, IF the work is intended to enrich the cultural experience of the J-2 visa holder, and NOT to financially support the J-1 visa holder. An ISSS advisor can guide a J-2 visa holder on the EAD application. To request to add a dependent, please refer to the “Add Dependent” link on this page.

Extending your Exchange Program

If you are invited to stay longer than the program end date listed on your Form DS-2019, your UConn academic hosting department may request to extend your program. You will need to obtain a new Form DS-2019 listing your new program end dates. Your hosting department should submit the request to ISSS for an extension at least 30 days before your current program end date. Your Form DS-2019 program end date cannot be extended after the program end date. All extensions must be within the maximum program length permitted for each of the above categories.

Net ID and UConn ONE CARD

Net ID/Email Address

Your hosting academic department should arrange for you to be assigned a University Net ID and email address. The Net ID is needed to gain access to the University computer network, and to gain access to a variety of University services. Your UConn email address will also be generated at the same time as your Net ID. It can take a long time for your Net ID to be generated; please be patient if you do not have one upon arrival.

UConn One Card

J-1 visa holders who have obtained a Net ID can also apply for a UConn ID card, known as the One Card. This card is useful to identify you as a UConn staff member for services such as the bus, or for using the Library. You may also load money onto your One Card to use at photo copy machines or to purchase food at the University dining service locations.

End of Program

Grace Period & Departure

Before departing the University of Connecticut, all J-1 exchange visitors need to submit an End Program request in the UConn Scholar/Employee Portal, so that we may accurately update your SEVIS record and archive your file.

Log into the Scholar Employee Portal with your email address and password (do not use your NetID to login).
Click on Requests and select End Program.

Upon completing your exchange program your DS-2019 will be updated to reflect the new program end date. If your Form DS-2019 is valid into the future, please note your DS-2019 will be shortened to the date when you actually completed your degree or exchange visitor program.
All J-1 visa holders have a 30-day grace period to stay in the U.S. after their program ends. While on your grace period you may:

  1. Prepare for departure from the U.S.
  2. Travel within the U.S.

If you will transfer to another university/institution, do NOT submit an End Program request and instead follow the instructions to transfer your SEVIS record below.
J-1 scholars must transfer their SEVIS record out to the new school before their DS-2019 program end date.

Transfer to a Different Institution

In some cases, you may be able to transfer your visa sponsorship to another institution to conduct your J-1 exchange program. If you are invited to conduct your exchange program elsewhere, please contact ISSS to see if you are eligible for a SEVIS transfer. Your program objective and visa category must be consistent with your program at UConn, and there are special timing considerations. Submit a Transfer Out record online in the UConn Scholar/Employee Portal.  You will need to upload the following documents with your request:

A copy of your invitation/offer letter from the new school/institution.

Log into the Scholar Employee Portal with your email address and password (do not use your NetID to login).
Click on Requests and select Transfer Out.

Scholar Authorization for Off-Site Work