J Visa Overview

Please note: The information on this page is intended only for Stanford J-1 Scholars and Visiting Researchers. If you are a J-1 student enrolled in a Stanford degree program, please visit our section for International Students found in the navigation bar on the left.


The Exchange Visitor Program, administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), allows Stanford University to use the J-1 Exchange Visitor immigration classification to invite or employ foreign professors, research scholars, short-term scholars and specialists in the U.S. temporarily.

Most J-1 programs require a minimum stay of three weeks and allow a maximum stay of five years. The short-term scholar category allows an exchange visitor to enter even for a day or two, with a maximum stay of six months.

Categories most commonly used by Stanford University for J-1 scholars

  • "Professor" and "Research Scholar" categories
    The total stay in the U.S. for Exchange Visitors in the "Professor" and "Research Scholar" category is limited to five years. There are certain restrictions that apply to these categories.
  • "Short-term Scholar" category
    The total stay in the U.S. for Exchange Visitors in the "Short Term Scholar" category is currently limited to six months. No extension beyond this time limit is possible.

Important Points to Consider Before Applying for J-1 Status

You may visit the Exchange Visitor page of the Department of State website for a comprehensive overview of the Exchange Visitor program and information regarding the Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement. Prospective visitors should review this page for information about how to apply for a J-1 visa, and to learn more about how the program may affect career plans after the J-1 is finished. For more information about J-1 status , please visit our Coming to Stanford as a J-1 Scholar page.

Additional information about being in J-1 status at Stanford can also be found in the "After your arrival at Stanford" section for "J Visas" from the main navigation on the left.

Visit our Visa Information page for information on:

  • Applying for a Visa Document from Stanford
  • Applying for a Visa
  • On Arrival in the U.S.
  • Changing your immigration status in the U.S.
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