Museums and other non-profit institutions are now eligible to bring in J-1 Research Scholars through a third-party host organization

The U.S. Department of State promotes the J-1 research scholar program to “facilitate the exchange of ideas and research in a variety of fields between people of the U.S. and people of other countries.”  The research scholar category is reserved for foreign nationals who enter the country to primarily conduct research, observe, or consult in connection with research projects at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless it is disallowed by the sponsor. Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant’s program, and do not delay the exchange program’s completion date. Click here for more info.

The U.S. Department of State’s J-1 Designated Sponsors (third-party host organizations) are now eligible to work with museums and other non-profit institutions to engage foreign research scholars to participate at their institutions as part of the J-1 program.  Previously, a museum would need to be a designated as a sponsor, or designated under an umbrella of a larger institution’s J-1 program in order to participate in the program. Due to the complexity of the J-1 program and its strict criteria and administration requirements, it can be difficult for an institution to maintain its own program.

Using a third-party host organization offers more flexibility since it will handle the management of the J-1 research scholars throughout the entire process, including initial selection, qualifying the applicant and the institution, assisting with the visa application process, and ensuring program compliance throughout the research scholar’s stay in the U.S.

For more information on J-1 program opportunities or working with third-party host organizations, please contact Kathy Grzegorek (, David Strashnoy (, or Tiffany Chang (

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