The Department of State has issued changes to the J visa program with regard to professors and research scholars. The changes are scheduled to take effect as of November 3, 2006. However, since the Federal Register Notice has not been published yet it is possible that date will be pushed back. The changes to expect are: 1) Professors and Researchers can now participate in the J visa program for five years instead of three. 2) A professor or researcher who participates in the J program risks being subject to a 2-year repeat participation bar if they complete the program early (i.e.. before the five years are up) and they do not keep their SEVIS active. The new rules were scheduled to be applied retroactively, but DOS has confirmed that they will not retroactively apply the rule. The NAFSA has useful information on updating the SEVIS on their website.
DOS Issues 5-Year J Professor/Research Scholar Rule