UKIC / International Student & Scholar Services / International Faculty & Staff / J-1 Exchange Visitors / J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories

J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories

The J-1 exchange visitor's status includes many different categories that allow for employment or other collaborative opportunities. Participants may be eligible based on several funding sources: personal, government, and international organizations, such as the Fulbright Commission or IREX

Note:  All J-1 scholar categories listed below require the following minimum educational requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in the relevant field.  The exception is the Student Intern category which requires proof of full-time enrollment in a course of study at the home institution. 

Below is a brief summary of current J-1 categories approved by the Department of State for the University of Kentucky including Instructions to invite a J-1 scholar.

Available Categories:

Research Scholar &/or Professor

This category is intended for individuals who come primarily to conduct research, teach or lecture (i.e. postdoctoral scholars/fellows, visiting scholars, and other non-permanent positions, etc.). Under most circumstances, the category allows for a maximum stay of 5 years. 

There is a 24-month bar on repeat participation.  This means that when the program is completed, the scholar cannot return to the U.S. as J-1 Research Scholars or Professors for a period of two years.  Scholars may return in another visa status or another J-1 category such as the Short-Term Scholar if the department wishes to continue sponsorship. For departmental instructions, see Instructions to Invite a J-1 scholars.

Short Term Scholar

This is intended for individuals who will remain at UK for a maximum duration of six months to conduct research, to teach, or observe. Extensions cannot be granted beyond the six month period of stay. The Short-Term Scholar is not subject to the 24 month bar on repeat participation. For departmental instructions, click here.


This is an expert in the field of a specialized knowledge or skill who enters the U.S. for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating his or her expertise (i.e. artist, athlete, visiting coach). The duration of this category is one year with no possibility for extensions. Repeat participation is permissible.  For departmental instructions, click here.

Student Interns

Student Intern program participants come to the United States to pursue a structured and guided work-based internship program in their specific academic field. Prior work experience is not required.  For departmental instructions, click here. The below guides are also available for viewing when completing the appropriate iCAT request.

J-1 Student Intern DS-7002 Part 1 Guide (For Department Administrator).pdf

J-1 Student Intern DS-7002 Part 2 Guide (For Supervisor-2nd Approver).pdf

Student Non-Degree

This category is limited to 24 months and is intended for visitors to UK's campus who are pursuing a course of study in a non-degree program or who are current students in their home country and are coming to UK to conduct research, teach, or observe.

EVs who are students in their home country must complete the J-1 Non-Degree & Home University Attestation Form and all departments must submit the Full Course of Study Form on the EV’s behalf.

Student Academic Training

At times a J-1 student may be hired by the University of Kentucky while participating in Academic Training. The University of Kentucky or another university or institution may approve Academic Training but only if the student is eligible and has been pre-approved by the J-1 advisor.  

This is employment related to a student’s field of study and may be used anytime during his or her program of study but is generally utilized after completion of a degree. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree are eligible for a total of 18 months of Academic Training. Doctoral graduates receive an additional 18 months, allowing them a maximum of 36 months. 

The hiring department provides a job offer letter to the student so the J-1 advisor can authorize the employment. Therefore, there are no applications or fees to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). There is also no ISSS processing fee or additional documentation required from departments. For information, contact ISSS.