12 Month Bar After Previous J Participation:
Under the 12-month bar provision of 22 C.F.R. § 62.20(d)(2) an alien can be selected for participation as a Professor or Research Scholar only if:
The participant has not been physically present in the United States as a nonimmigrant pursuant to the provisions of 8 U.S.C. 1101(J) for all or part of the twelve month period immediately preceding the date of program commencement set forth on his or her Form DS-2019 unless:
- The participant is transferring to the sponsor's program pursuant to provisions set forth in § 62.42 ; or
- The participant's presence in the United States was of less than six months duration, or
- The participant's presence in the United States was pursuant to a Short-term scholar exchange activity as authorized by § 62.21 .
24 Month Bar on Repeat Participation for J-1 Professor and Research Scholars:
Effective since 2006, an individual who participates in the Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar becomes subject to a 24-month bar on "repeat participation" in those categories after completing his or her program. Under DOS's interpretation, the 24-month bar applies under two circumstances:
- If the Professor or Research Scholar completes a full five years of program participation with one or more sponsors; or
- If, before the full five-year period is over, the Professor or Research Scholar completes his or her program. In this case, the continuity of the five-year period is broken, the five-year window is "closed," the individual is not eligible to access the remaining unused time, and the individual must wait for two years before beginning a new program as a J Professor or Research Scholar.