12 and 24 Month Bar
Exchange Visitors (EV) physically present in the United States in any J status, (including J-2 status), during a 12-month period preceding the program begin date in the professor or research scholar category, may affect their eligibility to participate in those categories.
There are three exceptions to the rule:
- J-1 transfers: EVs who will begin a program by transferring to a new program sponsor via SEVIS.
- Presence in J status of less than 6 months: Exchange Visitors whose prior physical presence in J status was less than six months in duration.
- Presence in J status as a Short-Term Scholar: Physical Presence spent as a Short-Term Scholar does not trigger the 12 month bar.
The 24 month bar is seperate from the 2 year home residency requirement, also known as 212(e). Exchange Visitors who participate in the Professor or Research Scholar catagory are subject to what is known as the 24-month bar on “repeat participation”. EVs subject to the 24 month bar may not return to the U.S. in the Professor or Research Scholar category for a 24-month period. The bar also applies to dependents.
When a EV completes or ends their program early, their status becomes inactive in SEVIS. Once inactive, the 24-month bar period begins to accrue. The bar is based on participation in the Research Scholar or Professor category, not the duration spent in the program.
In order to maintain and properly advise both departments and scholars, ISSS should be notified upon early completion of any research/professors program or if there will be an extended time outside of the US. If the EV will be outside the US for longer than 30 days, please see an advisor for eligibility to maintain an active SEVIS record while outside of the US.
The 24-month bar is not a home residency requirement and does not prevent individuals from returning to the U.S. in another visa status.
The 2-year home residency requirement, also known as 212(e), is seperate from the 24-month bar. Please reveiw the secton on both the 24 month bar and the 212 (e) home residency requirement for more detail. Please note an exchange visitor can be subject to one while not being subject to the other, or be subject to both.