When a Research Scholar completes his or her program, the J-1 scholar is not eligible for another program as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor until 24 months have passed. In other words, it bars issuance of a new DS-2019 for the Research Scholar or Professor category with a start date earlier than 24 months after the end date of the previous Research Scholar or Professor program. This bar also applies to J-2 dependents. This will prevent J-2 dependents in the Research Scholar or Professor category from changing to their own J-1 status in the Research Scholar or Professor category if they have entered the U.S. in J-2 status.
During the 24 month period, individuals can return to the U.S. in another J-1 category (i.e., Short-Term Scholar) or in another immigration status (e.g. H-1B).
A restriction also exists for anyone who has previously been in another J-1 or J-2 category who seeks to use the Research Scholar category. Those who were in any J category (other than Research Scholar) for more than 6 months are ineligible for the Research Scholar category until 12 months have passed after the end of that J program.