The Exchange Visitor Program in the U.S. Department of State may, at its discretion, allow an Exchange Visitor to change category of exchange participation. However it is not possible to request a change from the student category to research scholar\ professor category. Any change in category must be consistent with and closely related to the participant's original exchange objective. It will be necessary to prove that the requested change is due to unusual or exceptional circumstances. Category change approvals are very rare.
Requests for a change in J-1 category, along with supporting justification and documentation, must be submitted to the Exchange Visitor staff at the Department of State by the participant's sponsor. There is a non-refundable fee of $232 for this application.
Contact OISS for further information.