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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

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

  • Introduction and background
  • What has changed
  • Definitions
  • Scenarios for Carnegie Mellon
  • OIE recommendations
  • What OIE is doing
  • Q&A
introduction and background
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.
what has changed
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

Sample DS-2019

Item #4: Category

Item #5: Start/ End date

definitions short term scholar
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.
definitions 2 year foreign home residency requirement
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.)
definitions 12 month bar
Definitions – 12 month bar
  • 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.
definitions new 2 year bar
Definitions – (new) 2 year bar
  • 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
practical considerations
Practical Considerations
  • 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.
scenario 1 short term scholar
Scenario 1: short term scholar

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
scenario 2 extend up to 5 years
Scenario 2: extend up to 5 years

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..
scenario 3 j scholar is subject to bars but plans to return
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.)
oie recommendations
OIE Recommendations
  • 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
oie s next steps
OIE’s next steps
  • 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