J-1 Scholar/Employee Leaving UMass

J-1 Scholar/Employee Leaving UMass


A J-1 Exchange Visitor may change employers or schools, which is referred to as a “transfer.” They may transfer from one designated Exchange Visitor program to another designated program provided the J-1 time does not exceed the maximum permitted by his or her J-1 category (e.g. a Research Scholar J-1 category has 5 years). 

J-1 scholars intending to transfer to another program should discuss their plans with the IPO, as well as with the international office (not just the hiring department) of the new school. The transfer is processed through an update in the J-1 scholar's SEVIS record and must be completed prior to the end date as noted on the form DS-2019. There can not be any gap of time between the two schools.


All international students and scholars who were in the U.S. for any period of time during any calendar year must file a federal tax statement, called an income tax return. Whether you are paid during the calendar year or not, all visitors will file some form.

Bars and Limitations

Two-Year Home Country Residency Requirement [INA 212(e)] 

Be sure to read page two of your DS-2019. You and your J-2 dependents will be subject to this requirement if your J-1 program is funded by either your government or the US government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by your home country, or if you come to the US for graduate medical training. If this requirement applies to you, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your J-1 program. You are not prohibited from traveling to the US but you may not benefit from certain employment-based or family-based visas until the requirement is satisfied. 

24 Month Bar

If you are coming to UMass Amherst as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor, you and your J-2 dependents will become subject to the 24-month bar if: (1) you complete a full five years of J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program participation with one or more J-1 program sponsors; or (2) you completed a particular J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program of ANY LENGTH, and your SEVIS record becomes inactive BEFORE the full five-year period is over. You must then wait at least 24 months before you may begin a new J-1 program in the Research Scholar or Professor category.