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J-1 Short Term Scholars Regulations

Health Insurance Requirement

All exchange visitors (J-1 principals and J-2 dependents) are required to have sickness and accident insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance in effect for the duration of their exchange visitor status. (22 C.F.R.§62.14)

A willful failure to carry insurance is considered to be a violation of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations.

Short-Term Scholars

  1. Definition
    A short-term scholar is defined as a professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar type of institutions.  [22 C.F.R.§62.4(b)]
  2. When to use the short-term scholar category
    • Visit of less than three weeks and other short-term programs
    • If 12-month bar/24-month bar for professor or scholar applies
  3. Duration of stay
    The maximum duration of stay as a short-term scholar is 6 months.
  4. Locations and activities
    A short-term scholar is permitted to participate in activities stated on his or her DS-2019 Form at listed location.


  1. Definition
    An individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming the United States for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills. [22 C.F.R. §62.4 (g)]. The specialist category does not include professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or alien physicians in training programs. (22 C.F.R. §62.26)
  2. Eligibility and limitations in the specialist category
    An individual is eligible to be classified as a specialist if he or she:
    • Is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill;
    • Seeks to travel to the United States for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating his or her special knowledge or skills; and
    • Does not fill a permanent or long-term position of employment while in the United States.
  3. Duration of stay
    A specialist can participate in the Exchange Visitor Program for the length of time necessary to complete the program, not to exceed one year.
  4. Locations and activities
    A specialist can participate in an exchange visit program at the location(s) listed on his or her Form DS-2019.


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