Letter of Les Jin, USIA General Counsel, to NAFSA, July 3, 1996
22 C.F.R. § 62.20(d)(2)(ii) exempts from the Professor/Research Scholar 12-month bar, individuals whose prior J "presence in the United States was of less than six months duration."
This 1996 USIA letter to NAFSA interpreted the term “presence” for purposes of this exception as being tied to the entire time spent participating in an exchange program any part of which took place during the 12-month period.
Under that interpretation, if any part of an exchange visitor’s presence in the United States in J status extends into the 12-month period preceding the proposed new program start date, the entire duration of the alien’s presence in the U.S. while participating in the program is counted, and if that participation exceeds 6 months, the bar applies.