Differences Between J-1 Student vs. J-1 Scholar
J-1 visa status is generally used for students in specific educational exchange programs such as I.I.E., IREX, World Learning, AmidEast, or others. It may also be used for students in degree programs.
J-1 Short-Term Scholar
Professor, research scholar, or person with similar education and background who comes to the U.S. for a short-term visit to lecture, observe, consult, train, and/or demonstrate special skills. Short-Term Scholars no limited minimum duration of stay, but they are limited to stay a maximum of 6 months. There are no extensions possible.
Primarily teaches, lectures, observes, consults, and might conduct research if permitted by the program sponsor. A J-1 Professor may stay for only 3 weeks, but can stay up to 5 years. A J-1 Professor cannot be tenure-track; J-1 professors must be temporary employees.
J-1 Research Scholar
Primarily conducts research, observes, consults, and may also teach or lecture if permitted by the program sponsor. Like J-1 professors, J-1 research scholars have to stay in the U.S. for a minimum of 3 weeks, but can stay up to 5 years.
Expert in a field of specialized knowledge who comes to the U.S. for observing, consulting, and demonstrating special skills. A J-1 specialist also has a three week minimum of stay in the U.S., but can stay up to one year.