Regulations for J-1 Short-Term Scholars and Specialists - University of Houston
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Regulations for J-1 Short-Term Scholars and Specialists

Health Insurance Requirement

All exchange visitors (both J-1 principals and J-2 dependents) are required to have sickness and accident insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance in effect for the duration of their exchange visitor status. (22 C.F.R.§62.14)

A willful failure to carry insurance is considered to be a violation of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations.

Short-Term Scholars


A short-term scholar is defined as : A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar type of institutions. [22 C.F.R.§62.4(b)] 

When to use the short-term scholar category 

      Visits ranging from several days upto 6 months.

Locations and Activities  

     A short-term scholar is permitted to participate in activities stated on his or her DS-2019 Form at listed location. 



An individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming the United States for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills.[22 C.F.R. §62.4 (g)].

The specialist category does not include professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or alien physicians in training programs. (22 C.F.R. §62.26) 

Eligibility and limitations in the specialist category 

     An individual is eligible to be classified as a specialist if he or she: 

(1) Is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill;

(2) Seeks to travel to the United States for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating his or her special knowledge or skills; and

(3) Does not fill a permanent or long-term position of employment while in the United States. 

Duration of stay 

A specialist can participate in the Exchange Visitor Program for the length of time necessary to complete the program, not to exceed one year. 

Locations and Activities 

A specialist can participate in an exchange visit program at the location(s) listed on his or her Form DS-2019