In accordance with the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961 (of which the Exchange Visitor Program and its J-1 visa are a part), cultural, educational, and professional exchanges are intended to build mutual understanding and help create a foundation of trust between Americans and the rest of the world. By bringing people together to share perspectives and experiences, they strengthen US national security and promote prosperity at home and abroad

Based on the above, the US Department of State demands the participation of J-1 visa holders in cross-cultural activities and it regards it as a fundamental requisite of J-1 Getty sponsored programs.

The US Department of State considers the social and cultural activities engaged between American and International people (J visa holders) to be cross-cultural activities.

The very nature of the J. Paul Getty Trust with its mission, programs, activities, as well as national and worldwide art projects, allows for compliance with the cross cultural activities provisions of the Fulbright-Hays Act.

The programs in which Getty scholars, fellows, interns, and trainees participate are inherently cross-cultural, because participants are selected from a group of national and international applicants and/or nominees, and the Getty staff is comprised of culturally diverse individuals. Program participants bring their own cultural customs to share with the Getty staff and the other members of the group by virtue of being in the programs. This shared learning is in addition to exchanges that happen in the work environment, where, side-by-side, research and treatment of art objects from around the world occur in close collaboration with Getty staff.

Nevertheless, the US Department of States requires J-1 visa holders to participate in additional cross-cultural activities during their Getty residency. Especially noteworthy are activities implemented with and organized by Getty staff, scholars, fellows, interns, and trainees.

Examples of such activities may consist of:

Participation, along with Americans and international visitors, in conferences, lectures, exhibits, presentations (within and outside the Getty)
Participation, alongside American members of the Getty staff and their families, in services organized by the Getty for the benefits of communities and the environment. Examples are: Day of Service, Ciclavia, Emergency Preparedness Fair, Volunteer Fairs, and Food and Toy Drive. Plus others community service opportunities that individuals may find on their own.
Meetings with high-level US citizen Getty officials and external contacts organized by the Getty
Social interactions such as visits to museums, parks, local attractions, outings to movies, beaches, restaurants, trips outside Los Angeles, camping/hiking, and lunches organized with US and international Getty staff, scholars, fellows, interns, and trainees
Study trips containing US and International cultural content
Dinners, barbeques at colleagues' homes and at Getty Scholar Housing, with US and international personnel in attendance
And any other social/cultural activity to which you may be exposed during your Getty residency, where US and international participants meet, learn and share thoughts and ideas
To comply with the US Department of State request, J-1 visa holders will be asked to write one or more evaluations of the program in which they have been involved at the Getty. These evaluations will document in writing, preferably with the addition of photographs, the participation of each individual in a variety of cross-cultural activities. Particularly important will be the comments on the effects of these interactions in relation to the purpose of the Fulbright-Hays Act.

Notification of change of information

Please notify OSIP of any change in address, telephone number, or e-mail address for you and your spouse and/or dependent(s) within 10 days, as specified in the J-1 Visa Guidelines.

Two-year home-country physical-presence
requirement <212 (e)>

The J visa is part of the Exchange Program created to foster learning across cultures. In some cases, rules ensure that J visitors will have to return to their home countries after completion of the US program so that the home country will also benefit. Participants with a J visa (students, scholars, professors, researchers, interns, and trainees), as well as their dependent family members, may be subject to the "two-year home residency requirement".

A J-1 Exchange Visitor is subject to the rule if the US visa page on the passport has such notification.

Please note that the "two-year home" and the "24-month bar" requirements are two different, completely distinct issues.

During the Two-year home-country physical-presence requirement J-1 Exchange Visitors are not prohibited from travelling to the U.S. but, until they have fulfilled the requirement they are not permitted to do any of the following:

  • Change status while in the U.S. to the nonimmigrant categories of temporary workers (H) or intracompany transferee (L);
  • Adjust status while in the US to immigrant visa/lawful permanent resident status (LPR);
  • Receive an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate; or
  • Receive temporary worker (H), intracompany transferee (L), or fiance' (K) visa.

There is a provision in U.S. law for a waiver of this requirement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For information visit:

Research Scholars

Five Year Rule

The total stay in the United States for J-1 visa holders in the "Professor or Research Scholar" category is limited to five uninterrupted years. Extensions beyond this period are not possible. The five-year period is continuous and given to a participant on a "use or lose" basis.

To take advantage of the five-year period of the J Research Scholar category, a scholar would need to have one or more appointments amounting to five continuous years in the U.S. to keep his/her visa record active. Unused time from the five-year window may not be saved for later use.

24-month Repeat Participation Bar

Any individual who obtains a J-1 visa in the Research Scholar or Professor category is subject to a 24-month bar on "repeat participation" in those categories. This means that when a Research Scholar or Professor completes his or her program, regardless of the lengths, the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor status is concluded and the person is not eligible for another J-1 Research Scholar or Professor visa until the 24 months have passed. The 24-month bar can be spent in the U.S. in another category (i.e. Short-Term Scholar) or in another immigration status (i.e. H1-B) depending on individual circumstances.

12-month Bar

A restriction may also exist for anyone who has previously been in another J-1 category who seeks to use the Research Scholar category. Those who were in any J category (other than Research Scholar or Professor) more than six months are ineligible for the Research Scholar category until 12 months have passed after the end of that J program.

Short-Term Scholar Category

The total stay in the U.S. for Exchange Visitors in the J-1 "Short Term Scholar" category is limited to six months. Extensions beyond that limit are not possible. Short-Term scholars are not subject to the 24-month bar rule.

These restrictions apply also to individuals who accompany, or have accompanied, a J-1 visitor as a dependent J-2 family member.

Previous J-1Visa Status

Previous J-1Visa Status Length of Stay in the United States in Previous J-1 Visa Status* Can begin or return as Professor or Research Scholar
Any J-1 category other than Research Scholar or Professor 6 months or less Immediately
Any J-1 category other than Research Scholar or Professor More than 6 months After 12 months from the previous Program End Date as reported on the DS-2019
J-1 Research Scholar or Professor Any time (i.e., 1 month, 1 year, etc.) After 24 months from the previous Program End Date as reported on the DS-2019
*The duration of the bars are determined by the actual length of stay of the principal J-1 holder's most recent participation in an exchange visitor program. J-2 Spouse/Dependent are subject to the same restrictions.

Interns and Trainees

In order to participate in the Getty Graduate Intern program, foreign nationals must enter the US with J-1 visa in the Intern or Trainee category or, must be in compliance with the US Department of State requirements of the F-1 visa program. Please scroll down for information about F-1 visa requirements.

The US Department of State set the following conditions for participation in the Exchange Visitor Program, and consequent application of J-1 visa, for the Intern and Trainee categories.

Please note that, although the Getty program is called "Graduate Intern Program", it is open to both Intern and Trainee categories.

To classify in the J-1 Intern category:

  1. Individual must be currently enrolled in a ministerially recognized school outside the US


  2. Individual must have graduated from a ministerially recognized school outside the US no more than 12 months prior to the begin date of the EV program.

If an individual no longer meets the above conditions, he/she might participate in the EV program in the Trainee category after two years of residency outside the U.S. following their last internship program.

To classify in the J-1 Trainee category:

  1. Individual must have a degree from a foreign miniterially recognized school PLUS at least 1 year of work in the field outside the US,


  2. 5 years work in their field outside the U.S.

An individual is eligible for additional training programs after a period of at least two years residency outside the United States following their initial training program.

Getty programs for the J-1 intern and trainee categories are registered with the US Department of State for a maximum duration of 12 months. Consequently by law, after 12 months in J-1 status interns and trainees cannot be further extended, while after 8 months in a J-1 status interns and trainees could be extended for a maximum of approximately 4 months. Therefore, please keep in mind that even if a Supervisor may consider an extension, decisions to grant such extensions are based also on additional criteria.

J-1 Interns cannot be transferred to another J-1 intern program. After an intern completes a program she/he must return home. She/he may be invited to the U.S. for another internship, provided she/he meets the eligibility criteria, that she/he has spent enough time in her/his Country to use the skills learned during the previous internship, and that the new internship does not duplicate the activities of the previous one.

F-1 Visa

If you currently have an F-1 visa, please contact your Designated School Official in the international student office of your university to discuss CPT and OPT options and to receive information and assistance with the restrictions and possibilities of the F-1 visa program.

In order to participate in the Getty Graduate Intern program with an F-1 visa, you will need to provide the following visa related documents.

When applying for the internship:

A signed certification confirming that you have enough CPT or OPT time available to complete the Getty internship.

Before starting the Internship:

A copy of your current I-20
A copy of the first entry date stamp in F-1 status in your passport
Proof of health insurance per the US Department of State's rules and regulations for F-1 students.
A brief note from your advisor authorizing your Getty Internship for its entire duration.

12-month Bar

If exchange visitors were in the J-1 Interns or Trainees category more than six months they are ineligible for the J-1 Research Scholar category until 12 months have passed after the end of that J program.

As all this can be confusing, please do not hesitate to contact OSIP at or via phone at 001-310-440-6660 for more information.

Contacting The Getty Office of Scholars, Interns and Professionals (OSIP)

Daniela Ferrari
Supervisor, OSIP
Responsible Officer, SEVIS
(310) 440-6123

Angie Donougher
Department Coordinator, OSIP
Alternate Responsible Officer, SEVIS
(310) 440-6909

Debbie Menzies
Project Management Coordinator, OSIP
Alternate Responsible Officer, SEVIS
(310) 440-6249

Contacting the United States Department of State, Office of Designation

The United States Exchange Visitor Program is administered under the oversight of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The Office of Designation and the Office of Exchange Coordination and Compliance are located at:

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Department of State
State Annex SA-5, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20522-0505

The office of Designation is organized under two divisions. The Academic and Government Programs, and the Private Sector Program Division. Contact information and the exchange categories for the divisions are identified below:

Academic and Government Programs Division (ECA/EC/D/AG)
Categories of exchange: Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist

Telephone: (202) 203-7131
Fax: (202) 203-7779

Private Sector Program Division (ECA/EC/D/PS) Categories of exchange: Intern, Trainee

Telephone: (202) 632-2805
Fax: (202) 203-7779

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