J-1 Visa

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J-1 Visa Non-Students

Exchange visitors who are not students fall into one of four categories: Short Term Scholar; Researcher; Professor; Specialist. The chart below contains category descriptions and maximum length of stay allowed for each category:

Category Primary Activity at UCLA/Eligibility Length of Stay
Professor An individual whose primary activity is teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting on non-tenure track appointments. Participation in Departmental research is allowed. Maximum 5 years. Includes time spent at another institution on J-1 status. No extension of stay allowed beyond 5 years.
Researcher An individual whose primary activity is conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project under the supervision of a UCLA faculty. Generally holds PGR or Visiting Scholar appointments. Maximum 5 years. Includes time spent at another institution on J-1 status. No extension of stay allowed beyond 5 years.
Specialist An individual who is an expert in a specialized field of knowledge or skill coming to the U.S. for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills. Generally holds SRA or equivalent appointment. Short-Term Scholars, Research Scholars and Professors are not considered specialists for the purpose of this category. Maximum 1 year. No extension of stay allowed beyond 1 year.
Short-Term Scholar A professor, researcher, or person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the U.S. on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. This category includes speakers at Conferences receiving an honorarium from UCLA. Maxi­mum 6 months. No extension of stay allowed beyond 6 months.

An Exchange Visitor shall not be a candidate for a tenure track position in the United States. The Dashew Center will issue a DS2019 form "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" which the prospective visitor takes to the US Embassy/Consulate to apply for J-1 visa. At the time of processing the DS2019 form, the EV must present evidence of financial support for the duration of the period stated in the DS2019 form. Minimum required financial support for an initial DS2019 form or to extend an existing form is given below:

Tuition & Fees
Living Expenses
Living Expenses
Non-Students 0 $20,226 $6,742 $26,968*
Spouse 0 $4,500 $1,500 $6,000
Each Child 0 $2,000 $667 $2,667
*Includes Mandatory Health Insurance and allowance for Books and School supplies. Cost is subject to change.

Employment for Scholars

Visiting Professor/Researcher/Short-Term Scholar/Specialist on J-1 visa status (EVS) are authorized to receive compensation or salaries from the visa sponsor for employment when such activities are part of his/her program. Acceptance of employment with an organization or institution other than the visa sponsor without written authorization is a violation of the EV’s visa status and deems him/her subject to termination from participation in the exchange visitor program. For EVs whose DS-2019 form was issued by UCLA, the authorization to engage in employment must be granted by DCISS. Scholar may not begin employment until authorization has been issued.

Employment for monetary remuneration of Visiting Scholars/Professors is limited to occasional lectures and short-term consultations incidental to the exchange visitor's primary program activity. Before DCISS can authorize employment, the scholar must bring a letter from the sponsoring professor explaining how this employment meets the following criteria: Such Employment must

  • Be directly related to the objectives of the exchange visitor's program;
  • Be incidental to the exchange visitor's primary program activities; and
  • Not delay the completion date of the exchange visitor's program.

For specific procedures on how to obtain employment authorization check J-1 Scholar Employment Guidelines

For more detailed information regarding J-1 Visa Regulations and other practical matters please read the Exchange Visitor (J-1) Regulations Handbook

Documents & Forms

Exchange Visitor (EV) Regulations Handbook

American Culture and Conversation

Spouses’ Circle