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Currently, I am a master's student at a Swiss university, and my degree requires me to complete a master's thesis. Unfortunately, no professors at my university are experts in the concentration that I am interested in, and I found a professor in the United States who has close interests and backgrounds with mine. If possible, I plan to stay at that U.S. university for an entire year. Please note that while I am writing my thesis in the U.S., I am not enrolled to that university, nor will I receive any formal accreditation there, and I have no intention to do that, either. I will still be enrolled in my Swiss university and receive the credit for thesis from that university.

I have a valid B1/B2 visa, but I know that I can't stay in the U.S. for that long with this visa. So which type of visa should I have? The first thing that comes to my mind is J-1, but I'm not sure.

I appreciate any insights. Thank you so much for your help.

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    Most universities have some sort of "visiting scholar" status that could be applicable, likely with a J-1 visa. The university should have an international students & scholars office, and the professor sponsoring you should be able to put you in touch with them. They would be the ones to assist with visas and prepare any required paperwork. – Zach Lipton Feb 1 at 19:53
  • @Robert Your wording "stay at that university" was unclear to me; I didn't know if you meant the university at which you're now enrolled, or the US institution where the US professor works. I think you meant the university at which you're now enrolled, and I've edited your question to reflect that. If I'm wrong, please revert my edit. If you do revert text, I suggest you edit it to more clearly specify which school you're referring to. – David Feb 1 at 20:00
  • @David Thank you for your notice! Though I actually meant to stay at U.S. university for an entire year. – Robert Feb 1 at 20:03

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