Exchange Visitors

Information for J-1 Exchange Visitors Participants

We are pleased that you have chosen to join our campus community.  Whether you are a new faculty or staff member, a visiting professor, short-term scholar or researcher, we trust that your experience at PSU will be successful and rewarding.

The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended. The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is “to promote international educational and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.”

The DOS has designated Plymouth State University to serve as Program Sponsor, thereby enabling us to issue Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility, to prospective Exchange Visitors. Although there are numerous categories of exchange visitors, PSU is only designated to sponsor exchange visitors in the categories of student, professor, research scholar and short-term scholar. These categories are defined as:

  1. College and university students — individuals admitted to a degree program at an accredited educational institution for a full course of study leading to, or culminating in, the award of a US degree, or an individual engaged full-time in a non-degree prescribed course of study. (Students may be enrolled in degree programs, English language training, and other non-degree study preparatory to entrance into a degree program or some other non-degree program with a predetermined educational objective.) Degree students are authorized to participate for as long as they are studying at the post-secondary institution listed on their Form DS-2019. Non- degree students are limited to a maximum stay of 24 months.
  2. A Professor is an individual primarily engaged in teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at post-secondary accredited institutions, museums, libraries or similar types of institutions. A Professor may also conduct research. The maximum length of stay is 3 years (an additional 6 month extension may be possible if it is critical to the project). By federal regulations, this visa category may NOT to be used for tenure-track positions. Other, more appropriate visa categories are available. Consult the Human Resources Department for more information.
  3. A Research Scholar is an individual primarily conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. The maximum length of stay is 3 years. (This visa category may NOT to be used for permanent research positions. Other, more appropriate visa categories are available. Consult the Human Resources Department for more information.)
  4. A Short-Term Scholar is defined as a professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to 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 educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. There is no minimum stay for this category. However, six months is the maximum allowable stay and no extension beyond six months is permitted.