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Frequently Asked Questions - J Visa

J-1 Visa (15)
Form DS-160 (1)

Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

1. Where can I find the DS-160?
You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

Form DS 2019 (1)

A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

Change in J-1 Status

I came to U.S by J-1 visa and now I am married to a U.S citizen.I got married in the first month here and my DS form will expire after 2 months. What will be my status?

Two concerns:

1. Your J-1 visa must not be subject to the two-year HRR; and

2) You must not have had a pre-conceived intention to get married when you entered the USA.

Both are serious issues. Consult a lawyer please.

J-1 extension beyond 5 years

My J-1 at Cornell Psychology Department expired on Aug 31 2011 after 5 years. Currently I'm spending my grace period. I'm exempt from the 2 years rule. I was wondering if it could be further extended. If not, would it be possible for my department to issue a new DS-2019 (J1) instead? I have only been working here for about a year and have been at a different university before.

Extension is possible only if the program rules permit it. The worst case scenario in extension or new 2019 as I see it can be only that you have to go get a new via stamp.

Regarding J-1 HRR Waiver

An experience from our community reader:

I did not have to go through the grueling J-1 HRR process from India. A matter of fact for your reference, a lot of students coming from India to US on J-1 for internship or completing their last semester are put on J-1 HRR directly without any inquiry into their application at the visa window. This causes a lot of stress to individuals under J-1 HRR and very few know that J-1 HRR Advisory opinion exists. I had been reading a lot of articles and on the USIEF website when I came to know about this and applied to see after 2 months that the J-1 HRR was never applicable to me.

Rajiv's Response:

Thanks for sharing. People, note, it is a good idea to confirm whether or not you are in fact subject to the HRR. We have been doing that for years in cases where there is a likelihood that you are not subject to HRR. Two typical situations where you may NOT be:

1. No US federal government funding (reinforced by suffix "P" instead of "G" in your program number) and

2. Your specialization is not on the country skills list.

Exhibiting Immigrant Intent

I currently have a J-1 (for four more years, no HRR). I am thinking about applying for an EB2-NIW. The question is, if I don't get the EB-2, will I have problems with traveling with my J-1? Can the officers at the airport know that I was denied an EB-2 and thus showed immigration intent?

Exhibiting immigrant intent CAN be a problem for J-1. It is not certain that you will have a problem, but the potential does exist.

Change in J-1 Status

I came to U.S by J-1 visa and now I am married to a U.S citizen.I got married in the first month here and my DS form will expire after 2 months. What will be my status?

Two concerns:

1. Your J-1 visa must not be subject to the two-year HRR; and

2) You must not have had a pre-conceived intention to get married when you entered the USA.

Both are serious issues. Consult a lawyer please.

Changing from J-1 to O-1

Can I change from J-1 to O-1 without meeting the home residency requirement or getting a waiver?

You can apply for the O-1 category and, upon receipt of the approval notice, you will be required to obtain the O-1 Visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.

Starting a Business on J-2 Visa

I will have a J-1 visa when I come to the US, can my spouse on J-2 start a sole proprietorship as consultant? Would he have to get the EAD first? He will work for the same company as he works for now, only as a consultant.

Under the law (8CFR 21A.2(j)(1) (v) (A)), a J-2 holder may use the earnings to support the J-1 visa holder. The earnings must be used for the “Family's customary recreational and cultural activities and those related travel.”

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

Let’s say that a J-2 visa holder enters the United States as a derivative of a J-1 principal who is subject to the two-year home residency requirement of INA 212(e). Without leaving the United States, she later changes status from J-2 to J-1. The J-1 program in which she participates as the principal is also subject to INA 212(e). Thus, the person is independently subject to INA 212(e) based on two separate programs – her husband’s (as a J-2 derivative) and her own (as a J-1 principal). Please confirm that this person may file a single DS-3035 form that includes all DS-2019s from both programs and receive a single waiver covering both programs.

In this situation, the applicant’s J-1 waiver does not cover her period in J-2 status. 9 FAM 41.62 states that if an alien is subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement, the spouse and child of that alien are also subject to that requirement. Thus, the individual you have described would need a separate waiver to cover the time that she spent in J-2 status that subjected her to the two-year home residency requirement.Two separate DS-3035 applications would therefore be required in this circumstance.

Exceptional Hardship Waiver

What examples has the Department of State (DOS) provided of program and policy considerations other than program funding that might lead to an unfavorable J-1 waiver recommendation, despite a favorable recommendation from USCIS?

The exceptional hardship waiver is a three-step process. The applicant must first submit an I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement, directly to USCIS. If USCIS determines that there is a possibility that the applicant’s U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or child may experience hardship if the applicant returns to the home country to fulfill the two-year home residence requirement, USCIS forwards the application to the State Department for a waiver recommendation. In accordance with guidance in 22 CFR 41.63(b)(3)(ii), the Department’s role is to review the program, policy, and foreign relations considerations in the case and make a recommendation to USCIS, which has the final waiver authority in 212(e) cases.

Each waiver application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and weighed on its individual merits. All relevant factors in the case are considered in the review process. The State Department policies or standards followed in reviewing a waiver application are to weigh the program, policy, and foreign relations considerations in the case. These factors apply across the board in waiver cases. The Department does not comment on the program, policy, and foreign relations considerations relevant to specific waiver cases. The courts have consistently supported DOS’s position on disclosure of analysis in these cases.

Withdrawal of a Pending J‐1 waiver

What procedure should a J‐1 waiver applicant follow in requesting withdrawal of a pending J‐1 waiver application?

A waiver applicant who has a pending waiver application in the State Department’s Waiver Review Division (WRD) should send an email to WRD via FMJvisas [at] state [dot] gov to request withdrawal of a pending case. WRD updates the applicant’s case file and posts the withdrawal request on its online status checking system on http://travel.state.gov..

Two-year home residency requirement

Can I obtain an F-1 if I have a two-year home residency requirement on my earlier J-?

Yes.  F visa is NOT forbidden.  But you will not be able to get an H-1, L-1 or green card unless you address the HRR through compliance or waiver.

J-1 visa waiver concerns

I had come to US in September 2008 for 30 days externship (as short term visiting scholar) on J1 visa. After that I went back to India in October and came again in January 2009 on F1 visa to do PhD in animal science program. My concern is do I need to apply for J1 waiver before joining a job or a post doc here in USA? If yes, how should I go about it?

The 212(e) can attach to even a short program. Step one, ask DOS for an advisory opinion whether you are subject to the Home Residency Requirement. The detailes are here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1288.html<

Canadian with J-2 visa

I am a Canadian with J2 visa. I am an engineer and want to work in US to keep up with my career. I am going to apply for EAD. If I don't get, can I switch from J2 to TN. Can my kids still stay on J2?

You can switch back to TN from J-2. What you do has no effect on the children. They derive their status directly from your J-1 spouse.

J-1 extension beyond 5 years

My J-1 at Cornell Psychology Department expired on Aug 31 2011 after 5 years. Currently I'm spending my grace period. I'm exempt from the 2 years rule. I was wondering if it could be further extended. If not, would it be possible for my department to issue a new DS-2019 (J1) instead? I have only been working here for about a year and have been at a different university before.

Extension is possible only if the program rules permit it. The worst case scenario in extension or new 2019 as I see it can be only that you have to go get a new via stamp.

I was on J-1 visa

I was on J-1 visa for 18 months of training in a dental lab as a dental technician .I got my waiver on my J-1 visa .I came back from USA to India and applied for the F-1 visa in a community college .But I was denied f-1 visa on bases of section 214(b) of immigration (possible immigrant).What can I do next to get back to USA?

If the consulate is not convinced of your nonimmigrant intent (214(b)), it is extremely difficult to remedy that. Usually, people in that situation should explore options like H-1, L-1, green card - all of which do not require a nonimmigrant intent (intention to remain in USA only for a brief period of time).

File I-485 while J-1 waiver is pending

I am currently in the US under the VWP which expires March 15. I was about to apply for a marriage-based GC but I just found out that I am subject to 2-years HRR. I applied for a waiver (no objection). A lawyer told me today that I should still file the I-485 and just leave the question "subject to" blank or check "yes" and add "waiver pending". Is that going to work? I don't want to overstay the VWP. How many days does it usually take to find out that I-485 submission got accepted and I can legally overstay the VWP?

To the best of my knowledge that information is incorrect. You can file AOS only after the waiver is approved.

J1 overstayed by years, married to a greencard holder

I came to US in 2004, overstayed my J1 visa by 3 years and got married to a greencard holder in 2007. My I-130 was approved in 2008 . Is it possible to adjust status when my visa number becomes available. I have read on different sites that I'm not eligible since I have not maintained lawful status during my stay. Are there any loops?

Unless your spouse becomes a US citizen, nothing can be done as far as I can see. If you had a 2 years HRR, you have bigger problems.

Starting a Business on J-2 Visa

I will have a J-1 visa when I come to the US, can my spouse on J-2 start a sole proprietorship as consultant? Would he have to get the EAD first? He will work for the same company as he works for now, only as a consultant.

Under the law (8CFR 21A.2(j)(1) (v) (A)), a J-2 holder may use the earnings to support the J-1 visa holder. The earnings must be used for the “Family's customary recreational and cultural activities and those related travel.”

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

Let’s say that a J-2 visa holder enters the United States as a derivative of a J-1 principal who is subject to the two-year home residency requirement of INA 212(e). Without leaving the United States, she later changes status from J-2 to J-1. The J-1 program in which she participates as the principal is also subject to INA 212(e). Thus, the person is independently subject to INA 212(e) based on two separate programs – her husband’s (as a J-2 derivative) and her own (as a J-1 principal). Please confirm that this person may file a single DS-3035 form that includes all DS-2019s from both programs and receive a single waiver covering both programs.

In this situation, the applicant’s J-1 waiver does not cover her period in J-2 status. 9 FAM 41.62 states that if an alien is subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement, the spouse and child of that alien are also subject to that requirement. Thus, the individual you have described would need a separate waiver to cover the time that she spent in J-2 status that subjected her to the two-year home residency requirement.Two separate DS-3035 applications would therefore be required in this circumstance.

Canadian with J-2 visa

I am a Canadian with J2 visa. I am an engineer and want to work in US to keep up with my career. I am going to apply for EAD. If I don't get, can I switch from J2 to TN. Can my kids still stay on J2?

You can switch back to TN from J-2. What you do has no effect on the children. They derive their status directly from your J-1 spouse.

J-2 holders and work authorization

Can I use my J-2 visa for internship and work after completion of FPGEE?

J-2 holders can get work authorization and work as per the licensing requirements of their profession.

J-2 to TN

I am Canadian citizen & currently working on TN visa. My spouse is on J1 visa. I want to switch to J2 and get EAD. After couple of years he will apply for waiver and will move to H1. I believe I will be switched to H2 automatically as his dependant and my EAD will be void. Will that be possible at that time that I can switch back to my TN status?

You can switch back to TN. To correct slightly, you do not automatically get switched to an H-4 (not H-2).

J-2 visa and I-275

My spouse is J-1 and is in US and I want to apply for J-2 to enter US. But 10years back I was denied entry in US on my B1/B2 Visa with I-275 executed stamp on my passport because in my last stay in US I attended college for a semester on B1/B2 visa. So I need to ask are there chances that I will get a J-2 visa to join my spouse?

It is entirely in the discretion of the consular officer whether or not to give you a J-2 visa. Impossible to predict.

Regarding J-1 HRR Waiver

An experience from our community reader:

I did not have to go through the grueling J-1 HRR process from India. A matter of fact for your reference, a lot of students coming from India to US on J-1 for internship or completing their last semester are put on J-1 HRR directly without any inquiry into their application at the visa window. This causes a lot of stress to individuals under J-1 HRR and very few know that J-1 HRR Advisory opinion exists. I had been reading a lot of articles and on the USIEF website when I came to know about this and applied to see after 2 months that the J-1 HRR was never applicable to me.

Rajiv's Response:

Thanks for sharing. People, note, it is a good idea to confirm whether or not you are in fact subject to the HRR. We have been doing that for years in cases where there is a likelihood that you are not subject to HRR. Two typical situations where you may NOT be:

1. No US federal government funding (reinforced by suffix "P" instead of "G" in your program number) and

2. Your specialization is not on the country skills list.

Home Residency Requirement for Second Visa

I got a J-2 visa and my wife on J-1 recently in which we have never travelled to US yet. Now my employer is ready to apply a L-1B for me and my wife L-2. Is this possible? Or will I be subjected to 2 years home stay restriction which is applicable for J visa without travelling on J. Will it be a problem in US consulate when I appear for L-1 visa as me and my wife have J-2 and J-1?

If I remember correctly, 212(e), the HRR, does not apply till you actually use the visa.

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

Let’s say that a J-2 visa holder enters the United States as a derivative of a J-1 principal who is subject to the two-year home residency requirement of INA 212(e). Without leaving the United States, she later changes status from J-2 to J-1. The J-1 program in which she participates as the principal is also subject to INA 212(e). Thus, the person is independently subject to INA 212(e) based on two separate programs – her husband’s (as a J-2 derivative) and her own (as a J-1 principal). Please confirm that this person may file a single DS-3035 form that includes all DS-2019s from both programs and receive a single waiver covering both programs.

In this situation, the applicant’s J-1 waiver does not cover her period in J-2 status. 9 FAM 41.62 states that if an alien is subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement, the spouse and child of that alien are also subject to that requirement. Thus, the individual you have described would need a separate waiver to cover the time that she spent in J-2 status that subjected her to the two-year home residency requirement.Two separate DS-3035 applications would therefore be required in this circumstance.

Immigrant Intent in Issuance of J Visas

I was in US from 2003 on F-1. I finished my Ph.D. here and changed to J-1 Status. I want to travel during 2012 summer, but need to go for J-1 Stamping. Do you think it will be a problem? Is there a chance that I might be stopped because of 214(b)?

Immigrant intent is definitely a consideration for issuance of J visas. As to whether or not you may have a problem is impossible to predict. If you can have a safety net of an H-1 (if needed), you would be better off.

Home Residency Requirement for Second Visa

I got a J-2 visa and my wife on J-1 recently in which we have never travelled to US yet. Now my employer is ready to apply a L-1B for me and my wife L-2. Is this possible? Or will I be subjected to 2 years home stay restriction which is applicable for J visa without travelling on J. Will it be a problem in US consulate when I appear for L-1 visa as me and my wife have J-2 and J-1?

If I remember correctly, 212(e), the HRR, does not apply till you actually use the visa.

Canadian with J-2 visa

I am a Canadian with J2 visa. I am an engineer and want to work in US to keep up with my career. I am going to apply for ">EAD. If I don't get, can I switch from J2 to TN. Can my kids still stay on J2?

You can switch back to TN from J-2. What you do has no effect on the children. They derive their status directly from your J-1 spouse.

J-1 extension beyond 5 years

My J-1 at Cornell Psychology Department expired on Aug 31 2011 after 5 years. Currently I'm spending my grace period. I'm exempt from the 2 years rule. I was wondering if it could be further extended. If not, would it be possible for my department to issue a new DS-2019 (J1) instead? I have only been working here for about a year and have been at a different university before.

Extension is possible only if the program rules permit it. The worst case scenario in extension or new 2019 as I see it can be only that you have to go get a new via stamp.

J-2 holders and work authorization

Can I use my J-2 visa for internship and work after completion of FPGEE?

J-2 holders can get work authorization and work as per the licensing requirements of their profession.

J-1 Waiver Pending

I applied for my waiver in Aug 09 from the US and sent completed DS 3035 to the Waiver Review Div. in St. Louis, MO and Indian Embassy in DC. I returned to India in Sept 09.I have not had any updates since then. I would like to know (1) If I have missed any steps and if that is the reason why my waiver status remains unchanged (2) If I HAVE TO and can still apply for the NORI and obtain my waiver since I already have my case number and barcode (3) If I apply for the NORI from India, where do I send the Statement and Affidavit for attestation? (4)Are there any additional steps for waiver from India?

Contact the Waiver Review branch in USDOS first. Figure out what is going on with your pending case. You cannot apply for more than one type of waiver at the same time.

J-2 visa and I-275

My spouse is J-1 and is in US and I want to apply for J-2 to enter US. But 10years back I was denied entry in US on my B1/B2 Visa with I-275 executed stamp on my passport because in my last stay in US I attended college for a semester on B1/B2 visa. So I need to ask are there chances that I will get a J-2 visa to join my spouse?

It is entirely in the discretion of the consular officer whether or not to give you a J-2 visa. Impossible to predict.

H-1 for Canadian PR with J-1 issue

I am presently in Canada on Canadian PR (and have an indian passport). An employer in Indiana (from a hospitality background) is interested in hiring me.
1. They have no clue abt H1B visa. How do I proceed?
2. I was on J1 from 2000 to 2001. I do not have a waiver. Will this affect my application?

If you have neither complied with the J-1 home residency requirement, nor obtained a waiver, you cannot get an H-1. Make sure you are indeed subject to the 2-year HRR. You may not be - then an H-1 is a possibility. Go here to ask DOS for an advisory opinion: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1288.html<

I was on J-1 visa

I was on J-1 visa for 18 months of training in a dental lab as a dental technician .I got my waiver on my J-1 visa .I came back from USA to India and applied for the F-1 visa in a community college .But I was denied f-1 visa on bases of section 214(b) of immigration (possible immigrant).What can I do next to get back to USA?

If the consulate is not convinced of your nonimmigrant intent (214(b)), it is extremely difficult to remedy that. Usually, people in that situation should explore options like H-1, L-1, green card - all of which do not require a nonimmigrant intent (intention to remain in USA only for a brief period of time).

Travel during H4 processing

I am on J-2 visa. This is likely to expire soon due to my spouse changing her visa from J-1 to H1.I want to apply for H4 if I can travel outside USA during the application(processing) period.

If you travel during change of status, the request for COS is deemed to be abandoned.

H-2B Visa

I'm on a J-1 visa right now, but I leave the US in 16 days. I have a job offer to come back and work here, can I apply for the H2-B visa before I leave the US? So that I could come back right away? Or don't even needing to get off the the country?

Assuming you have no home residency requirement, you can start the H-2B process even while you are here in USA.

File I-485 while J-1 waiver is pending

I am currently in the US under the ">VWP which expires March 15. I was about to apply for a marriage-based GC but I just found out that I am subject to 2-years HRR. I applied for a waiver (no objection). A lawyer told me today that I should still file the I-485 and just leave the question "subject to" blank or check "yes" and add "waiver pending". Is that going to work? I don't want to overstay the VWP. How many days does it usually take to find out that I-485 submission got accepted and I can legally overstay the VWP?

To the best of my knowledge that information is incorrect. You can file AOS only after the waiver is approved.

I have a R J-1

I have a R J-1 i am not subject to the two year rule or section 212 (E). Do i have to leave the country if i adjust my status through marriage? I was advised that i should leave the country for at least 60 days and have my interview in my country. Is this correct?

I see no reason to leave. The 60-day advice makes sense only if you have just entered USA.

May B-1/B-2, E-1, E-2, F-1, H-1, J-1, L-1 O-1 visa or TN holder apply for green card?

May B-1/B-2, E-1, E-2, F-1, H-1, J-1, L-1 O-1 visa or TN holder apply for green card?

One of the questions I am asked quite frequently is whether or not an E-1/E-2 visa holder can apply for a green card and not jeopardize his or her E status. The answer is PROBABLY yes he can.

In the E visa context, this is what the govt says:

Quote:
9 FAM 41.51 N15 INTENT TO DEPART UPON TERMINATION OF STATUS
(TL:VISA-404; 04-29-2002)

Can F/J holders apply for green card?

I am on F-1/J-1 visa (student visa). Can I apply for green card (Permanent Residency)?

There is no law that prohibits an F-1, J-1, F-2, or J-2 visa holder from applying for a green card directly. But as a practical matter it takes a long time to obtain a green card in most cases. Therefore, even if you begin your green card process while you are on F or J status you will probably be required to convert to H-1 due to lack of time. Conversion to H-1 during green card pendency is no problem.

One more issue that you have to bear in mind is that F and J visas do not allow you to possess immigrant intent. Therefore, if you travel abroad during the pendency of the green card or if you need to obtain F or J visa stamped, you could have trouble because filing for green card you would have established immigrant intent.

Do physicians have the right to an extension beyond 6 years for waiver jobs?

1. I am curruntly on HIB Visa for the past 5yrs and 2 months (GC process started and 1-140 approved) working for a State Health Department.

Fulfilling J-1 HRR in installments - not possible

I have been issued F1 and I fulfilled only 1 year of my previous J1 HRR. It was not difficult to get it once you show all the funding documents from school.

I have another question though. I am on a PhD program now. If I decide to stay in my home country for 3-months periods several times - can I fulfill my second year of HRR in that way?
The question is does it have to be consequent or I can split it like this?

You cannot do that as far as I know. The HRR has to be in one solid 2-year chunk. Brief absences - a week or two may be permitted but should be made up by spending that much extra time in your home country.

B visa while GC pending or similar situation

After a long-term relationship, earlier this year I married a U.S. citizen. I do not want to change my immigration status and do not wish to immigrate nor reside permanently in the United States since we both have steady jobs outside the U.S. and I do not want to leave my country. All I want is to be able to travel temporarily into the U.S. for pleasure and leisure as most tourists do, once or twice a year for a couple of weeks each time.

I want to know if I can just apply for a new B-1/B-2 tourist visa to travel into the U.S. or if my husband needs to file an I-130 petition for alien relative and I-129 and K visa thereafter instead –which I understand would be the right process if I ever wanted to adjust status or become a U.S. permanent resident.

This is upto the discretion of the consulate and then again upto CBP when you land in USA. Consulates have the discretion to issue you a B visa - despite your presumed immigrant intent - if they are convinced that you will return. This is true for all cases where a B (or F or similar) visa is sought while GC is pending or could be pending.

Does J-1 HRR Prohibit Issuance of F-1?

If someone came to the US on a J1 visa with a residency requirement of two years and that person returns back to the home country and then would like to return to the US on an F1 visa to continue a master's degree, can a visa be issued before the residency requirement is completed and does the new F1 visa if given, get rid of the J1 residency requirement?

The two-year home residency requirement does not prohibit issuance of F-1 visa. That can be tried any time, even before the HRR is completed. Ultimately, F-1 visas are discretionary. But there is no law that prohibits their issuance in these circumstances.

Issuance of an F-1 does NOT waive the HRR. You will stay subject to it.

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