Research Scholar Program J-1 Visa

The Research Scholar Program J-1 Visa was designed to promote the free flow and exchange of ideas, research, mutual enrichment and linkages between research and academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries through the participation of their professors, researchers, post- or pre-doctoral students, graduate students and professionals such as doctors and attorneys.

Research Scholar Program J-1 Visa

How the rainmaker went to the United States on a Research Scholar Program J-1 Visa

Dr. Chaiwat Nakornchai was a brilliant research botanist even at 36 and he knew that the future was only going to be even better. But the question that nagged him day and night was — why did Thailand never produce scientists who won Nobel prizes for their contributions to mankind? The late king, whom he admired deeply, had been an inventor and scientist with a string of agricultural patents to his name. Chaiwat wanted to follow in his footsteps and go even further.

His goal was to somehow find a way to research advanced techniques for rainwater management in the United States and then use his knowledge to push Thailand agriculture into the next generation. His specific dream was to build upon the late king’s patents and create satellite-driven systems for predicting rainfall and seeding clouds.

His ambition might have just stayed a fantasy if he hadn’t accidentally stumbled on the United States Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) while researching US Immigration advice online. He learned that the EVP had been designed to give non-US students, academics, and professionals numerous pathways to enter the United States on a so-called Research Scholar Program J-1 Visa and experience its life and culture while meeting their study or professional goals.

Did the EVP have a program that could help him? Indeed it did. This was how Chaiwat learned about the Research Scholar Program, almost tailor-made for research professionals like him.

Under the Research Scholar Program, one of 15 categories under the EVP, Chaiwat could enter the United States on a Research Scholar Program J-1 Visa to participate in a non-clinical or other research program at an appropriate US research or academic institution. The visa would allow him to conduct research for up to 5 years, though once his program ended he would be expected to return to Thailand to apply what he had learnt.

Chaiwat, with new-found enthusiasm, began the application process. The first — and most arduous — step was to find an institution that would accept him and his research project. He found an online list of over 1,600 research institutions that had been approved by the Department of State, and wrote off to a few.

To his complete delight, he was accepted by the prestigious Cornell University School of Agriculture to conduct focused research on cloud seeding to manage rain-bearing cloud systems.

Chaiwat is still in the United States although he will soon head back home as his program ends. He can’t wait to apply all that he has learnt.

You can get more information on how to apply for the Research Scholar Program J-1 Visa, including how to find the best sponsors, from the detailed, user-friendly visa guides you get when you buy one of our Visa Plans

If you have questions or would like clarifications, please send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.