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Scholar Comparison

J-1 scholar vs. H-1B Features

J-1 scholar H-1B Specialty Occupation Worker
Purpose and eligibility Exchange opportunities in research, lecturing, collaboration, and cultural exchange

Not for tenure-track or permanent positions

Requires at least a bachelor’s degree for Research Scholar, Professor, and Short Term Scholar category

Mostly for titles (i.e. Research Scholars, Post-doc positions)
Temporary employment in “specialty occupations” that require theoretical and practical application of a body of “highly specialized knowledge”

Position requires at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field of study relevant to the duties to be performed

Mostly for academic titles (e.g. tenure-track teaching and research appointments)
Funding Can come from a variety of sources, including self-funding Supported by funds from ASU
Duration Up to 5 years for J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category, up to 6 months for Short Term category

Duration varies depending on other J-1 category
Up to 6 years; H-1B status is limited to a maximum of 3 years initially and up to a total of 6 years through extensions
Requirements DS-2019 academic and financial certificate of eligibility issued by the sponsoring institution

J-1 visitor must pursue academic program objective and engage in appropriate activities

Sponsor (ASU Host Department) and J-1 scholar must comply with Department of State and Department of Homeland Security regulations
Employer sponsorship

Position qualifies as a specialty occupation and H-1B candidate meets position qualifications

DOL Certification and Attestation including Prevailing Wage Determination

Petition adjudication and I-797 Approval Notice issued by USCIS

Material changes in employment may require an amended petition
Unique Features J-1 scholar’s intent is to return home after completion of the program

12-month and 24-month bar may apply

Mandatory health insurance requirement

J-1 scholars may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country physical presence requirement
H-1B status allows for the dual intent of working temporarily in the U.S. and applying for permanent resident status (i.e. for tenure track positions)

Universities are “cap exempt” from the annual quota

Employer cannot place employee on unpaid leave for lack of work and/or funding

Employer must pay for return transportation to home country if employment is terminated prior to the expiration of the current H-1B
Transfers Transfer to another J-1 sponsoring institution may be possible Change of employer is possible with the filing of a new petition

Employee has work authorization upon receipt of petition by USCIS
Costs $220 SEVIS fee

$160 Visa Application fee
$460 Filing fee

$500 (one-time) Anti-Fraud fee

Optional $1,410 Premium Processing service>
Processing Times Estimated 2-4 months, vary based on countries

Application must be submitted 2-6 months prior to the program start date

ISSC processing is 10 business days after receipt of completed request
Estimated 7-9 months for USCIS to adjudicate petition. 15 days if filed with Premium Processing

H-1B Request must be submitted 4-6 months prior to employment start date

ISSC processing is 5+ weeks after receipt of completed request packet
Off Campus Activities (Work, Lecture, Consult) J-1 scholar may receive compensation from the DS-2019 sponsoring institution provided activity is within academic program objective

J-1 scholar needs to check with program sponsor about outside payment authorization. Off-campus activity must be temporary and incidental to program objective
Can only work for the H-1B employer in the specific position approved

Can work concurrently for another employer provided a second I-129H petition is filed with USCIS by the new employer and USCIS requirements are met

Cannot accept an honorarium or any other compensation, or perform activities for any other institution or organization
Dependents J-2 status for spouse and unmarried children under 21

J-2 dependents can study (part-time or full-time)

J-2 dependents may apply for an employment authorization (EAD)

J-2 earnings cannot be used for the support of the J-1 scholar
H-4 status for spouse and children under 21

H-4 dependents cannot receive work authorization except in limited cases where the H-1B primary beneficiary is in the process of obtaining permanent residency
Grace Period 30 days after the end date of the program listed on J-1 scholar’s DS-2019 H-1B status is date-specific