Visiting J-1 Scholar and Business Visitor Visas

J-1 Exchange Visitors (Visiting Scholars)

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program was created by Congress in 1961 to “increase mutual understanding between people of the USA and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.” The J-1 program is overseen by the U.S. Department of State who grants J-1 program sponsorship to universities, colleges, and other entities who wish to bring temporary visitors to the US for the purpose of educational exchange.

Departments who wish to host visiting scholars such as researchers, professors, and short-term collaborators may be eligible to use the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories

The J-1 visa is a temporary, non-immigrant visa intended for highly educated foreign professionals to collaborate, research, observe, consult, teach and train in specialty roles on the Mines campus. Requirements for each sub-category of the J-1 visa differ, however the researcher, professor and short-term researcher roles are supported through the Mines ISSS for visa regulations and compliance.

The Mines ISSS is designated by the U.S. Department of State Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau to provide programs in two sub-categories of the J-1 visa program:

If a visitor to campus will use an H-1B, B-1/B-2, ESTA, WB visa, or any other visa, please do not complete the J-1 Application Procedure. These visitors may still confer with the ISSS for general guidance, but the ISSS does not administer these visa types.

  • Research Scholar and/or Professor
    • Must be a research scholar or professor outside of the United States
    • Activities at Mines may include:
      • Research scholar: researching, observing or consulting in connection with an established research project
      • Professor: teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting
    • Duration: 5 years maximum
    • Repeat Participation Regulatory Bars: There is a 24-month bar on repeat participation in the same category for all Research Scholar and Professor participants. Additionally, applicants who have been in the United States for all or part of the preceding 12 months in any J-category are not eligible unless they are transferring, were engaged as a short-term scholar, or they were present in the U.S. for less than 6 months in duration. Note: The 24-month regulatory repeat participation bar is not equivalent to the 212(e) two-year home residency requirement. 
    • Examples of positions that utilize the J-1 Research Scholar category are Post-Doctoral Researchers, Visiting Lecturer, Visiting Scholar, Research Associates and Research Fellows.
      Note for the Professor category: Tenure-Track positions are not permissible in J-1 status.
  • Short-term Scholar
    • Must be engaged Must be a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments outside of the United States
    • Activities at Mines may include “lecturing, observing, consulting and/or participating in seminars, workshops, conferences, study tours, professional meetings or similar types of educational and professional activities.”
    • Must have an official offer or invitation from a department at Mines
    • Duration: 6 months maximum – Extensions of stay beyond 6 months is not permissible.
    • Repeat Participation Regulatory Bars: None
B-1/B-2 Visitor Visas and ESTA

The B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa and/or ESTA program are strictly for short-term visits where an individual will not receive any form of payment or taxable goods from Mines (i.e. flight reimbursement, free meals, free accommodations, etc.). Departments who wish to have an international visitor see the Mines campus, meet on campus for business related meetings, or visit the town of Golden to determine if they wish to conduct research here, are welcome to invite international visitors using the B-1/B-2 visa or through ESTA (if eligible). 

The U.S. Department of State website provides additional information about permissible activities using the B-1/B-2 visa. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides additional information about permissible activities and eligibility to use ESTA

Any individual who will conduct research on campus should go through the J-1 visa process. Any individual who will be paid for anything related to their visit to Mines must go through the J-1 visa process. 

Additional Resources

For more information about the J-1 visa and the various categories, please visit the following websites:

Click below for a checklist of tasks required for inviting a J-1 Short-Term or Research Scholar to the Mines campus.


International Student & Scholar Services
924 16th Street
Green Center, Suite 219
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401

Office Hours
Monday through Friday, 9:00a – 12:00p and 1:30p – 4:00p

Main Office Phone and Email
(303) 273-3210 /