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Washington State University
International On Campus


About the Exchange Visitor Program

The Exchange Visitor Program promotes the interchange of knowledge and skills in the arts and sciences, as well as in education. WSU is designated by the U.S. Department of State as an official sponsor for the Exchange Visitor Program.

If you have a J non-immigrant visa, you are approved to participate in work and study as part of this program.

Fulbright Scholars from other nations who study and teach at WSU typically enter the country with J-1 visas.

Exchange Visitor Program Advisor

The international scholar advisor in the Office of International Programs is the appointed Responsible Officer (RO) for advising exchange program participants.

Please Note

President Donald J. Trump announced a Presidential Proclamation to take effect at noon Eastern Daylight Time on June 1, 2020. The proclamation will remain in effect until terminated by the president. It suspends entry into the United States only of graduate students and researchers from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) who hold an F- or J-visa and whose study, research, or OPT arrangement contributes to the PRC’s “military‑civil fusion strategy.” Undergraduate students are exempt, as well as “any alien who is studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC’s military‑civil fusion strategy.”

If you have any questions or concerns, or need to contact us about your personal status regarding this issue, please email us at

Q.  I am a citizen of China, so how will the latest Presidential Proclamation of May 29, 2020, affect my case?

A.  If you are a new student planning to join WSU this fall, this Proclamation will affect you only if you are pursuing a graduate program AND are deemed to be associated with the PRC “military‑civil fusion strategy.” Processing of your F- or J-visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in China may be delayed until this determination can be made. Please notify us if you experience or expect to experience any delay of your arrival on campus.

If you are a current WSU student or engaged in post-completion OPT, it will affect you only if you are pursuing a graduate degree AND/OR are deemed to be associated with the PRC “military‑civil fusion strategy” by the U.S. Secretary of State, at the Secretary’s discretion. You will receive a formal notification if you are determined to be in this situation. Please notify us of any communication you receive in this regard.

Purpose of Your Visit to the United States

As a participant in the Exchange Visitor Program, you are authorized to enter the United States for specific purposes:

  • To stimulate international collaborative teaching and research efforts, or
  • To promote interchange between research and educational institutions in the United States and other countries

While on a J visa, you cannot be a candidate for a tenure-track position. At the conclusion of your program, you are expected to return to your home country.

Exchange Visitor Categories at WSU


As a professor, you may primarily teach, lecture, observe, or consult at a post‑secondary accredited educational institution. You may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor.

Length of stay cannot exceed 5 years.

Research Scholars

In this role you may primarily conduct research, observe, or consult in connection with a research project at a post‑secondary accredited educational institution. You may teach only if approved by your sponsoring agency.

Length of stay cannot exceed 5 years.


An expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, you come to the United States to observe, consult, or demonstrate special skills.

As a J-1 visa holder in the Specialists category, you may stay for the length of time necessary to complete your program, not to exceed 1 year. Extensions beyond 1 year are not permitted.

Short-term Scholars

You are authorized to enter the United States for a short‑term visit as a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments. Your purpose is to lecture, observe, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills at a post‑secondary accredited educational institution.

The length of your stay may range from 1 day to 6 months. No extensions beyond 6 months are allowed.

Changing Status to Become a J-1 Scholar

After finishing your studies under an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you may be able to continue studying at WSU as a J-1 scholar.

To do this, you will need to find a WSU department to sponsor you for a research or teaching experience, and then apply for a change of status.

Complete the application (pdf)

2-Year Foreign Residence Requirement

If you have a J-1 visa, you are required to return to your home country for at least 2 years at the end of your exchange visitor program. This is also known as the foreign residence requirement under U.S. law, Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e).

More about 2-year requirement