The U.S. government has restrictions (called “bars”) on J-1s who want to re-enter the country as J-1 professors or research scholars.
Restrictions for re-entering the U.S.
12-month bar for people in J status
A person who was in the United States in J status for more than six months in the previous year may not enter the United States as a J-1 professor or research scholar for 12 months after the end of his or her most recent J program. However, they may return to the United States in a different visa or another J-1 category.
Time as a J-1 short-term scholar does not count toward the 12-month bar.
24-month bar for J-1 professors and research scholars
If you come to the United States as a J-1 professor or research scholar or as a J-2 dependent of a professor or research scholar, your J program may be extended for up to five years. After your program ends, you are ineligible to begin a new professor or research scholar program at any U.S. institution for 24 months. This is known as the 24-month bar, and it is different from the two-year home residency requirement.