Exchange Visitor Categories

The DOS has designated the University of New Hampshire to serve as Program Sponsor, thereby enabling us to issue Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility, to prospective Exchange Visitors. Although there are numerous categories of exchange visitors, UNH is only designated to sponsor exchange visitors in the categories of student, professor, research scholar, specialist and short-term scholar. These categories are defined as:

1. College and university students -- individuals admitted to a degree program at an accredited educational institution for a full course of study leading to, or culminating in, the award of a U.S. degree, or an individual engaged full-time in a non-degree prescribed course of study. (Students may be enrolled in degree programs, English language training, and other non-degree study preparatory to entrance into a degree program or some other non-degree program with a predetermined educational objective.) Degree students are authorized to participate for as long as they are studying at the post-secondary institution listed on their Form DS-2019. Non- degree students are limited to a maximum stay of 24 months.

2. A Professor is an individual primarily engaged in teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at post-secondary accredited institutions, museums, libraries or similar types of institutions. A Professor may also conduct research. The maximum length of stay is 5 years.  By federal regulations, this visa category may NOT to be used for tenure-track positions. Other, more appropriate visa categories are available. Consult the OISS for more information.

3. A Research Scholar is an individual primarily conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. The maximum length of stay is 5 years.  This visa category may NOT to be used for permanent research positions. Other, more appropriate visa categories are available. Consult the OISS for more information.

4. A Specialist is defined as an individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the U.S. to observe, consult or demonstrate special skills. The exchange of specialists promotes mutual enrichment and furthers linkages among scientific institutions, government agencies, museums, corporations, libraries, and similar types of institutions. This category is intended for exchanges with experts in such areas, for example, as mass media communication, environmental science, youth leadership, international educational exchange, museum exhibitions, labor law, public administration, and library science. The length of stay may not exceed one year. No extension of stay beyond one year is permitted. The Specialist may not fill a permanent or long term position of employment in the U.S.

5. A Short-Term Scholar is defined as a professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the U.S. on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. There is no minimum stay for this category. However, six months is the maximum allowable stay and no extension beyond six months is permitted.