Office of International Student & Scholar Services

J-1 Exchange Visitors

J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories at TAMUK


International students may come here as full-time degree-seeking students in J-1 status. While there are some minor differences between J-1 and F-1 students, the primary reason why individuals enter the US as J-1 students is based on the source of funding they receive.  Students receiving funding from other sources, such as non-governmental organizations, usually also enter the US in J-1 status. Students must demonstrate adequate funds for the entire period of study in the US, so the J-1 status is not used by the majority of international students. Students who receive funding from the government of their home country or the US (e.g. Fulbright) are issued a DS-2019 so they may apply for a J-1 visa.

J-1 Students (as well as Student Interns and International Visitors) are required to have a letter verifying that they are authorized for employment, unlike most other J categories, in which the category on the DS-2019 itself implies that eligibility. They are not required to show proof of an offer of employment. This is spelled out in Program Operations Manual System RM 10211.345 Evidence of Employment Authorization for the J1 (Exchange Visitor) and J2 (Dependent of J1) Classes of Admission


In some cases, Tamuk will issue a DS-2019 to an international to enter the US as a non-degree student.  There is a 24 month maximum stay for non-degree students. For more information on our Exchange Programs, please contact the Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP).  Individuals who are eligible for this Exchange Visitor category are participants in an academic exchange program between Tamuk and a foreign academic institution, or through a Memorandum of Understanding between the schools

An individual sponsored by an academic department to join the University as a short-term scholar enters the US for a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, research, observing, consulting, training, or instructing in special skills. This category has a maximum stay of six months.

An individual comes here for the purpose of conducting research, observing, or consulting on a research project. A Research Scholar may also teach or lecture at the discretion of the sponsor. This category has a maximum stay of five years.

An individual join our university for the purpose of teaching or lecturing. A Professor may conduct research at the discretion of the sponsor. This category has a maximum stay of five years.

The U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program regulations allow J-1 student visa holders to apply for Academic Training (AT) before and/or after completion of their program of studies.  Students become eligible for AT after they have been in lawful, full-time student status for one full academic year.

The cumulative period of AT is 18 months, unless the student is pursuing a program that requires fewer than 18 months, in which case the period of AT is shortened accordingly. THe period of AT cannot be longer than the period of time the student takes to complete his/her program of studies. For example, a student who completes a Master's degree in one academic year (10 months) is allowed for only 10 months of AT.

Students who complete a Ph.D. program may be eligible for an additional 18 months of AT for post-doctoral training after completion of degree.


Note: All Exchange Visitor categories cannot be used to fill in a tenured track position.