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Scholars Abroad

Overview

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.

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

Professors

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 five 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 five years.

Specialists

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 one year. Extensions beyond one 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 one day to six months. No extensions beyond six 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)

Two-year Foreign Residence Requirement

If you have a J-1 visa, you are required to return to your home country for at least two 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