The Exchange Visitor category was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961. The overall purpose of that Act, and the objective of the Exchange Visitor category, is "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges."
The program consists of six principal parties:
1. The Department of State (DOS), which creates and administers the federal regulations and policies governing the EV program, designates exchange visitor program sponsors and issues J visas to exchange visitors and their dependents.
2. Exchange visitor program sponsors, which are legal entities designated by the DOS to conduct an exchange visitor program and have been enrolled in SEVIS.
3. Responsible Officers (ROs) and Alternate Responsible Officers (AROs), who are individuals who have been appointed by an exchange visitor program sponsor to set forth in regulations and to represent the exchange visitor program sponsor.
4. Exchange visitors,who are aliens that have been selected by an exchange visitor program sponsor to participate in a particular exchange visitor program.
5. The Immigration Bureaus of the Department of Homeland Security, which manage SEVIS, admit an alien to the US in J exchange visitor status, and adjudicate certain immigration benefits for J exchange visitors and their dependents.
6. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division within the Department of Homeland Security, which administers the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database and help desk.
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY'S J-1 CATEGORIES:
We are authorized to issue DS-2019 forms for the following categories:
Professor & Research Scholar: A professor enters the US to teach, lecture, observe, or consult (but cannot be a candidate for a tenure track position). A research scholar researches, observes, or consults. Minimum of BA/BS degree with appropriate experience in the field is required. Minimum duration is 3 weeks, maximum is 5 years. The 12 month bar applies (anyone who completed a J-1 or J-2 program of more than 6 months must wait 12 months after the completion of that program before beginning or returning as a professor or research scholar). The 24 month bar on repeat participation also applies (anyone who spent any time physically in the US as a J-1 professor or research scholar must wait 24 months after completion of the previous program before beginning or returning as a professor or research scholar).
Short Term Scholar: A scholar entering the US for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating skills. Minimum duration is 1 day, maximum is 6 months.
Specialist: An expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skills, who enters the US for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating special knowledge or skills. Maximum duration is 1 year.
Student: For full course of study at an accredited institution. Duration of stay is limited to the length of the program.
Student Intern: University/college students at foreign universities who intern with an AU faculty in residence to complete a requirement of the home university degree program. Maximum duration is 1 year.