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Recent changes to the J-1 scholar visa program

To: All MSU Academic Units involved with the J-1 Research Scholar / Professor visa program and all current J-1 Scholars

On November 17, 2006 new federal regulations took effect regarding the
J-1 Research Scholar and Professor categories. This change will affect how MSU manages the flow of temporary academic personnel from around the world.

Summary of major changes:

  • The J-1 Research Scholar and Professor categories now have a maximum program length of 5 years. (Previous maximum was 3 years.)
  • Scholars who complete a program in the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category are not eligible for a new program in the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category for the next two years. (Called the "Two-year Bar".)
  • Scholars whose programs involve or allow extended stays outside the United States are now eligible to maintain their J-1 Research Scholar or Professor status while outside the United States for up to one year.

To learn more about these changes, please refer to the following materials on our website:

The MSU Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) has updated J-1 scholar-related forms to reflect these recent changes.

To request a J-1 visa for an incoming scholar or to extend the stay of a current scholar, please use the new J-1 Scholar DS-2019 Request form:

When a scholar is departing MSU, either permanently or temporarily, please ensure that the scholar completes the new J-1 Visiting Scholar Notice of Departure:

The new regulations make the accurate and timely completion of the Notice of Departure even more essential to preserving visiting scholars’ ability to return to the United States and to MSU in the future. No J-1 Scholar should ever depart the US without submitting the Notice of Departure.

For those of you who also work with J-1 visitors in the Student category, there is now a separate J-1 Student DS-2019 Request form:

If you have any questions or concerns about the changes to J-1 visa regulations or to OISS’s internal processes, please feel free to contact:

Brooke Stokdyk
(517) 432-8238

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