International Programs Office

Faculty & Scholar FAQs

  1. What is the 5 year rule?
  2. Previously, J-1 Research Scholars had a maximum stay in the U.S. of 3 years. Now they can stay up to 5 consecutive years. The 5 year period has been described as a "use it or lose it" window of time.

  3. What is the 24 month bar?
  4. The 24 month bar is when a research scholar or professor completes his or her J-1 program, s/he is not eligible for another period of stay as a J-1 research scholar or professor until two years have passed. This bar is also applicable to the J-2 dependents.

  5. Can I change jobs and have a new J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar visa with a new employer within the 5 years?
  6. Yes. If a J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar leaves one employer and moves to a new job with another University (that also sponsors J-1 visas) s/he can transfer to the new employer. These scholars may keep extending and changing employers via the J-1 transfer process for up to 5 years. NOTE: There can not be a gap of time between employers. Scholars need to communicate to both employers their intents to remain in the U.S. on a J visa.

  7. What if I need to leave the U.S. for a meeting or conference will I have to wait 24 months before I can return?
  8. No. As long as the J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar continues with the original Idaho State affiliation, short stays outside the U.S. are permitted, and do not constitute a completion of the J program.

  9. I have a J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar visa that is only valid for one year. I may stay longer if the grant is renewed for one more year. Will I have to go home for 24 months or can I extend my J visa for a second year?
  10. J-1 Professor/ Research Scholars may extend their stay for up to 5 years as long as there is no gap of time and the IPO receives the request of extension before the expiration of the current DS-2019.

  11. Are the 2 year home residence requirement and the 24 month bar the same thing?
  12. No. As mentioned in #2 above the 24 month bar only affects scholars who have had in the past the J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar visa, and who wish to use it again. The two-year home residence requirement can be an issue for any J visa holder not just those who have had the J-1 Professor/Research Scholar category.