General Information-Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University

General Information

The broad purpose of the Exchange Visitor J-1 program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Exchange programs exist in a variety of formats and permit visitors to come to this country for a wide range of activities. Carnegie Mellon's Exchange Visitor program provides opportunities for study, research, and teaching. Annually, we welcome over 600 visiting researchers and professors in over 40 departments to our campus community. There are both paid and unpaid J-1 research and teaching positions.

At Carnegie Mellon, J-1 researchers and professors may be in one of three J-1 categories, described below:

Short-term Scholar

The short-term researcher is defined as “A professor, research scholar, specialist…coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training…at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions…”  This category is ideal for programs and visitors of short-term duration lasting anywhere from 1 day to six months.  Short-term scholars are not subject to the 24-month bar on repeat participation however, the maximum stay for a short-term scholar is 6 months, and extensions are not allowed under any circumstance.  A person in short-term scholar status would have to leave the US and re-enter in order to prolong the stay; travel to Canada or Mexico would not likely benefit an individual in this situation.

Research scholar
Research scholars are individuals who are “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. The research scholar may also teach or lecture.”  A research scholar’s stay must be for a minimum of three weeks and may be extended for up to 5 years; however, when the J program ends, the research scholar is subject to a 24-month bar on repeat participation in the J research scholar or professor categories.

Professor
Professors are defined as individuals who are “primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions.  A professor may also conduct research.”  As with research scholars, a professor’s stay must be for a minimum of three weeks and may be extended for up to 5 years; however, when the J program ends, the professor is subject to a 24-month bar on repeat participation in the J research scholar or professor categories.
Research Scholar and Professor categories are ideal for visitors who are going to be in the US more than 6 months or for visitors who may be invited to extend their stay beyond 6 months and who are not concerned about the 24-month bar on repeat participation.

Student Intern
The US Department of State allows students who are enrolled in degree programs at home universities (in other countries) to be sponsored for an intern position, for up to 12 months’ duration, in the US. The internship may be with or without wages, however the student must provide evidence of personal or outside funding sufficient to cover all travel, health insurance, and living expenses, for the duration of the internship.

Additional information about the 24-month bar can be found under Conditions and Limitations.

Last Updated On: January 10, 2017