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Changes to J Scholar Regulations Special Meeting for J Researchers and Professors OIE: Lisa Krieg, Linda Gentile, Jennifer McNabb November 29 and December 5, 2006 Agenda Introduction and background What has changed Definitions Scenarios for Carnegie Mellon OIE recommendations

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Changes to J Scholar Regulations

Special Meeting for J Researchers

and Professors

OIE: Lisa Krieg, Linda Gentile,

Jennifer McNabb

November 29 and December 5, 2006

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  • Introduction and background

  • What has changed

  • Definitions

  • Scenarios for Carnegie Mellon

  • OIE recommendations

  • What OIE is doing

  • Q&A

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Introduction and Background

  • Some J Research Scholars and Professors need more than 3 years to complete projects.

  • Exchange Visitor Program persuaded to make changes to the J scholar regulations

  • Years later, on May 19, 2005, final rule published changing J scholar regulations and providing scholars with a 5 year program limit (known as the “J 5 year rule”)

  • Implementation date: when DHS publishes federal register notice that SEVIS has been upgraded

  • 1.5+ years for upgrade

  • Actual implementation date? November 18, 2006.

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What has changed

  • Language clarified—

    • EV must not be candidate for tenure track position

    • Site of activity must be listed in SEVIS

    • Incidental employment must be documented in SEVIS

  • Maximum period of participation for J professors and research scholars raised to 5 years

  • 5 years is a “window” of participation, not an aggregate

  • No extensions beyond 5 years

  • New 2-year bar on repeat participation

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Sample DS-2019

Item #4: Category

Item #5: Start/ End date

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Definitions – short term scholar

  • “A professor, research scholar, specialist…coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training…at research institutions… post-secondary accredited educational institutions…” 22CFR Sec. 62.4(b)

  • The maximum stay is 6 months.

  • Extensions are not allowed.

  • Ideal for programs and visits of short-term duration from 1 day to six months.

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Definitions – 2-year Foreign (‘home’) Residency Requirement

  • 2-year home residency requirement ensures that the home country benefits from scholar’s U.S. experience

  • 2-year home residency rule prevents a J from obtaining permanent work status such as H, L or Legal Permanent Residency until satisfied

  • J’s may be subject to the “two year foreign residency requirement” 212 (e) due to: direct government funding, skills list, medical training

  • If subject, 2 ways to fulfill the requirement: (1) return to home country for a period of two years or more, or (2) apply for a waiver

  • Requirement does not prevent a person from returning to the U.S. as a visitor, researcher, student or in other non-immigrant status during the two-year period. (But see info on bars.)

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Definitions – 12 month bar Requirement

  • The 12 month bar prevents individuals who were recently in any J status (except short term scholar) from immediately returning to the U.S. to start another period in J professor or research scholar status.

  • A person who is out of the U.S. may not return in the J professor or researcher category if s/he was in J status (researcher, professor, student, trainee, etc.) for 6 of the previous 12 months.

  • Note: a J in the researcher or professor category who departs the U.S. will have both the 12-month AND the 2-year bars, effectively resulting in a 2-year bar. The bars are not cumulative.

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Definitions – (new) 2 year bar Requirement

  • The 2 year bar prevents J researchers and professors from returning to the U.S. in the J research or professor categories for 2 years after J program completion (date on DS-2019)

  • Although tied to the 5 year rule, once the J program has ended, this 2 year bar is applicable to J researchers or professors who have used less than a 5 year period and to those scholars who have been here the full five year period.

  • Note: all J researchers and professors whose programs end after Nov. 18, 2006 are subject to the (new) 2 year bar

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Practical Considerations Requirement

  • Return. J researchers and professors may return to CMU or another U.S. institution as J researcher or professor, but must first serve a 2-year bar prior to returning to the U.S. in J status.

  • Travel. Travel in & out of the U.S. during J program is OK and expected.

  • Visa Validity. A valid visa is required for re-entry to the U.S. Extension of J DS-2019 does not result in a new visa stamp. Visas are obtained only at U.S. consulates outside the U.S.

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Scenario 1: short term scholar Requirement

Use the short term scholar category when…

  • … the visit is less than 6 months and there is no chance that the visitor’s stay will be extended beyond 6 months. (Repeat summer visitors, one-term only teaching faculty.)

  • … a visit is slightly over 6 months (7 or 8 months) but can be reduced to 6 months to avoid the 2-year bar. (Graduate students from Europe completing their research at CMU.)

  • ... the visitor is subject to the 12-month bar based on a recent, prior visit to the U.S. in certain J categories (student, trainee, etc.)

  • … the visitor is subject to the 2-year bar based on a prior U.S. visit within the past 2 years in the J researcher or professor category.

  • Note: a new SEVIS fee and visa stamp is required for each short term scholar period

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Scenario 2: extend up to 5 years Requirement

If the department wants the J visitor to stay, a period of 5 years is allowed for work on same project.

  • Follow OIE extension process i.e. department forwards request and funding information to OIE via letter or email or both. DS-2019 is produced by OIE and given to the current J scholar.

  • H-1B time limits (6 years) can be saved for future employment

  • J-2 dependents can continue to obtain employment authorization

  • J status can not be for tenure-track jobs.

  • Travel: a current J-1 visa stamp will be required for re-entry to the U.S. after foreign travel. Typically, after an extension DS-2019 is issued to the scholar by OIE, the scholar will apply for a new J-1 visa during the next, planned foreign travel out of the U.S..

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Scenario 3: J scholar is subject to bars, but plans to return

If both the 12-month and 2-year bars apply, the options include:

  • wait until 2-year bar has passed and scholar can return as J researcher/professor,

  • the scholar returns as a J-1 short-term researcher for a visit of 6 months or less,

  • the scholar returns in some other work status (if s/he will be a paid employee) such as E-3 (Australians), H-1B, O-1, TN (Canadians and Mexicans), etc., or

  • the scholar returns in B-1/B-2 visitor status for a short, unpaid visit. (Use caution and have detailed invite letter to avoid problems at the U.S. consulate or border.)

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OIE Recommendations return

  • Consider short-term category; use (1) carefully, (2) when it is applicable, and (3) when the bar(s) apply

  • Remain in J longer (instead of change to H-1B)

  • Understand how the bar(s) may impact your future, return visits to CMU or other U.S. university

  • Notify OIE and department of your exit (early or timely) from the U.S. If you complete J program early, OIE will shorten end date to start 2-year bar.

  • Know your options for return to the U.S.

  • Discuss options with OIE

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OIE’s next steps return

  • Auto-alert message to current scholars whose DS-2019 are expiring - revised

  • Emails sent to scholars and scholar coordinators

  • Meetings with scholars and scholar coordinators

  • Handouts updated—for new and current scholars

  • New DS-2019 request form in the works

  • Reviewing OIE website

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Q&A return