J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories

EV category Eligibility criteria Duration
Non-degree student** Activities in the U.S. will include a full-time non-degree “prescribed course of study” conducted by a post-secondary accredited academic institution. The non-degree academic program must have a specific educational objective, such as intensive English language training, classroom instruction, research projects, &/or academic training to the extent allowed by U.S. Dept of State regulations.

Sufficient proficiency in English to participate fully in the program and to engage with the local community.

During the program, student must meet at least one of these criteria:

  • Student/program is financed directly or indirectly by: (i) U.S. government, (ii) home country’s government, or (iii) international organization of which the U.S. is a member by treaty or statute;
  • Program is pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. government and a foreign government;
  • Program is pursuant to a written agreement between: (i) U.S. and foreign academic institutions, (ii) U.S. academic institution and a foreign government, or (iii) U.S. state or local government and a foreign government; or
  • Student is supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds.

**FSIS processes Non-Degree Student requests for all campuses except UHM.

2 years maximum. May not change between the non-degree student category and the degree student category.
Professor Activities in the U.S. will include primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, and similar types of institutions. May also conduct research.

Sufficient proficiency in English to participate fully in the program and to engage with the local community.

Holds at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the program activities.

Will hold a temporary UH appointment with a pre-determined, fixed end date. Will not be considered for regular employment at the end of the program; is not being “tried out” for a regular employment position.

Was not a J-1 professor or research scholar or a J-2 dependent of a J-1 professor/research scholar during the 24 months prior to the intended start date of the new program.

Was not a J-1 EV or J-2 dependent during the 12 months prior to the intended start date of the new program unless they:

  • Are transferring a J-1 program to UH;
  • Were in the U.S. less than 6 months in an EV category other than professor or research scholar; or
  • Were in the short-term scholar category.
3 weeks minimum; 5 years maximum.
Research scholar Activities in the U.S. will include primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. May also teach.

Sufficient proficiency in English to participate fully in the program and to engage with the local community.

Holds at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the program activities.

Will hold a temporary UH appointment with a pre-determined, fixed end date. Will not be considered for regular employment at the end of the program; is not being “tried out” for a regular employment position.

Was not a J-1 professor or research scholar or a J-2 dependent of a J-1 professor/research scholar during the 24 months prior to the intended start date of the new program.

Was not a J-1 EV or J-2 dependent during the 12 months prior to the intended start date of the new program unless they:

  • Are transferring a J-1 program to UH;
  • Were in the U.S. less than 6 months in an EV category other than professor or research scholar; or
  • Were in the short-term scholar category.
3 weeks minimum; 5 years maximum.
Short-term scholar Activities in the U.S. will include lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. Will participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, study tours, professional meetings, and/or similar types of educational and professional activities.

Sufficient proficiency in English to participate fully in the program and to engage with the local community.

Person is a professor or researcher or has similar education or accomplishments and holds at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

No minimum duration; 6 months maximum. No extensions beyond 6 months.
Specialist Activities in the U.S. will include observing, consulting, or demonstrating special knowledge or skills.

Sufficient proficiency in English to participate fully in the program and to engage with the local community.

Person is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, such as mass media communications, environmental science, youth leadership, international educational exchange, museum exhibitions, labor law, public administration, library science, or other non-academic activity.

3 weeks minimum; 1 year maximum. Extensions beyond 1 year are possible only in very limited cases and require U.S. Dept of State approval.