How Can I Change My J1 Visa Status
To change your status to J-1 student status while remaining in the U.S., you must submit an application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services . This process may take 3-6 months or longer, so plan accordingly. ISPO recommends that you start this process at least 6 months before your current status expires.
Staying Past Your Visas Expiration Date
If you overstay that is, if you remain in the United States past the expiration date of your visa you could be barred from re-entering the United States for several years, depending on how long you stayed in the United States without a valid visa.
If youve overstayed, its generally a good idea to leave the United States within six months following the expiration date of your J-1 visa. If you overstay for six months or longer, you will not be able to return to the United States for three years. If you overstay for more than one year, you will be barred from re-entering the United States for 10 years.
If, however, youve overstayed and your spouse who is a green card holder becomes a U.S. citizen before you leave the United States, you can generally then switch to the process described in Path 1 above. As a benefit of being married to a U.S. citizen, the amount of time you overstayed will be waived. Its important to be aware, however, that new USCIS policy may increase risks of overstaying, even for spouses of U.S. citizens .
Who Is Eligible For A Dependents Visa
The J2 Dependents Visa is available for the following immediate family members of a J1 permit holder:
- Spouse or same-sex partner
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 who are not living an independent life.
Fiancés and unmarried partners are not eligible for this visa since the USCIS will ask for a genuine proof of marriage.
Its also important to note that certain categories of J1 Visa holders are not allowed to apply for a permit for their family. This includes au pair, camp counselor, secondary school students and summer work travel programs participants.
If you do not qualify for this visa, you may still be able to join your family in the U.S. temporarily under a B2 Visitor Visa.
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Consult An Immigration Attorney
Getting a green card through marriage with a J-1 visa can be a tricky situation if you try to do it yourself. The best way to avoid costly mistakes that could result in negative action being taken against you is to have a J-1 visa attorney help you with your case.
Need help determining your particular J-1 waiver marriage process? Our J-1 immigration lawyers have years of experience handling these cases and addressing potential issues before they occur. Contact us to schedule your consultation with our office today.
Have additional J-1 visa questions? Click here to read the 50 most frequently asked J-1 waiver questions and answers!
How Much Does It Cost To Become A Us Citizen
The cost to become a U.S. citizen is subject to change, but currently, its $725. That includes the $640 fee for filing Form N-400 and the $85 fee the government charges for taking your biometric information. Some low-income applicants may be eligible to pay a filing fee of $320 plus the biometrics fee for a total of $405.
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J1 To Green Card: How To Become A Permanent Resident In The Us
Once you have a J1 visa in hand and some experience in America under your belt, it is extremely tempting to take the next step and become a permanent resident. However, the process of transitioning from a J1 visa to a green card is far from simple, and some will not be eligible for a green card at all.
J1 visa holders should explore their eligibility for a green card before attempting to make the transition. This article discusses the process of transitioning from J1 to green card, the related costs, and how you can cover them.
Entering The United States
A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. A visa only allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security , U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at the port of entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.
After you present your passport, visa, and DS-2019 at the port-of-entry, a CBP official will make this decision. Once you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
Learn about procedures for students entering the United States on the CBP website under Arrival Procedures for Students or Exchange Visitors. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.
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When Us Immigration Law Allows J
By Ilona Bray, J.D.
This requirement causes frustration for many J-1 visitors who, while in the U.S., receive a job offer, marry a U.S. citizen, or otherwise become technically eligible for a visa or green card.
There is, however, a legal rationale for the home-residence requirement. The J-1 visa is intended for exchange programs where people learn something particular to the United States. Exchange students are expected to go back to their home countries and use or share their knowledge. This is the “exchange” element of the visa.
Let’s take a closer look at who this requirement normally applies to, and how to find out whether it applies to you.
Who Qualifies For An Adjustment Of Status
Many people in the U.S. as students, tourists and other visitors qualify for an adjustment of status to become lawful permanent residents and, eventually, naturalized citizens. You could qualify if you have a citizen or LPR family member who is willing to sponsor you, if you find employment with a qualifying company, or if you meet certain criteria such as being a person of extraordinary ability. For most people who want an adjustment of status from a visitor visa to a green card, the best thing to do is consult with an immigration attorney.
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Foreign Residency Requirement & Waiver
It is worth noting that some J1 visas are subject to a two-year residency requirement which mandates that you must return to your home country for a minimum of two years after your J1 visa expires before you may return to the US on any other visa. There are some exceptions to this.
If it is your intention or you think you may be likely to wish to stay on in the United States after the end of your visit, you may be advised to consider other options. In some situations it may be possible to get a waiver to the two-year foreign residency requirement. Speak to one of our immigration attorneys to understand your options.
The list provides plenty of scope for flexibility. J1 visas are also quite easy to get approved.
The length of stay depends on the type of activity. Those pursuing academic study may get a visa for up to three years, while camp counselors will typically only get a 3-month stay.
Extensions are also variable, depending on the category of visa. We will be happy to advise on any of these questions.
Unlike some other visas, the J1 can allow change of status, meaning that you may apply for a different visa type from within the United States, without having to return to your home country first.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 may accompany a J1 visa holder to the US under a J2 visa. They are permitted to study, to travel in and out of the country, and they may work after securing a relevant work permit.
Path : If Youre Married To A Us Citizen
You will need to follow the same procedure for most other spouses living in the United States and married to a U.S. citizen. You and your spouse must first file the following forms, typically at the same time :
As long as you married your spouse in good faith meaning you did not marry just to obtain a green card, which youll need to prove to the U.S. government your green card should arrive within 10 to 13 months from the time USCIS receives your application package.
Alternative Options To J1
- If you will be receiving training in the U.S., you could consider the H3 training visa .
- J1 visa holder cannot typically apply directly for Green Cards while in the US. They can either transfer to a different visa or apply for GC from out of the country. Typical Green Cards tend to be the Labor Certification Process visas .
Attend Your Visa Interview
A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive an exchange visitor visa. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing. The consular officer will inform you if this is required.
After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee , and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you. Review the visa processing times to learn more.
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Can You Apply For A Green Card While On A Tourist Visa
You can apply for a green card to gain lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. while youre visiting the country on a tourist visa. Remember, though, that if you overstay your visa, the visa will become legally void on its expiration date at that point, youre in the U.S. illegally. You must apply for a green card before your visa expires, or you must extend your visa otherwise, you risk jeopardizing your ability to immigrate to the U.S. now or in the future.
However, you cant enter the U.S. on a visitor or tourist visa with the intention of applying for a green card. It is only appropriate for you to visit the U.S. and decide to apply for a green card after youre already here. If U.S. Customs and Immigration Services questions your intent meaning, if USCIS believes you came to the U.S. on a tourist visa with the intent of adjusting your status you will be responsible for proving that you decided to apply for a green card after you arrived, not before.
Applying For A Waiver
The U.S. Department of State has a J Visa Waiver Online Service where visitors can fill out the J Visa Waiver Recommendation Application or form DS-3035. This will provide visitors with DS-3035s that they can print. They will find a unique barcode and a case number printed on these documents.
The next step is to mail the completed DS-3035s plus copies of all of the DS-2019s and IAP-66s that the visitors have received, two self-addressed, stamped envelopes in legal size, and a check or money order for the application processing fee in the amount of $120. This document must be payable to the U.S. Department of State, and it will not be refunded to the visitors.
The fee will be processed once the package arrives at the St. Louis, Missouri, Department of State. The Department of State will send the package to the Waiver Review Division in Washington, D.C.
Supporting documents will need to be sent to the U.S. Department of State. Visitors may check the department’s website to find the appropriate mailing addresses for each particular supporting document.
Visitors who are requesting a waiver because of the hardship that would come to their spouses or children also need to submit form I-612. This form is called the “Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement,” and it requires that visitors pay an additional fee.
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Two Paths To A Green Card
If you are not subject to the home residency requirement, if you can get it waived, or if you have satisfied it, you generally should be able to apply for a from within the United States. The process of transitioning from a J-1 exchange visitor to a marriage-based green card holder, however, depends on whether your spouse is a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
Lets review each scenario, including how to avoid common pitfalls:
The Home Residency Requirement
The first step in determining your eligibility for a is to find out whether the two-year home residency requirement applies to you.
The home residency requirement means that some J-1 visa holders must return to their home country for a cumulative period of two years after completing their exchange program. They may still travel to and from the United States during this two-year period. But only after fulfilling this home residency requirement can they begin the green card application process and they generally must apply from abroad.
The purpose of the home residency requirement is to benefit the exchange visitors home country by applying the skills and experience they acquired in the United States.
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How Can You Receive Your Green Card And How Long After The
How can you receive your green card and how long after the interview?
You will not receive your green card immediately if you are interviewed outside the U.S. and the consular officer approves your application. Until the official green card arrives, the officer will only stamp your passport to indicate approval of permanent residency. A sealed immigration packet will be given to you, allowing you to travel to the United States, which should not be opened. A customs officer will collect and check your sealed immigration packet once you arrive at a U.S. port of entry. The officer may decide to grant or deny you entry after checking your packet. You will be able to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident if you are granted entry at the port of entry, and your official green card will be mailed to you a few weeks after your arrival.
How can you apply for a Green Card while youre on a tourist visa?
While you are visiting the United States as a foreigner, it is possible to apply for a Green card to become a lawful permanent resident of America. Keep in mind, you must apply for the Green Card before your Visa expires and make sure you choose the right type of Green Card you are going to apply for!
How can you convert your B1/B2 visa to a student visa?
How can you book a visa appointment without submitting the DS-160?
How can you immigrate to the United States without a job offer?
How can you study in the US as a J2 visa holder?
How can you pass the j1 visa interview?
Employment Authorization And Advance Parole Documents
Generally, when you have a pending Form I-485, you may apply for employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
You may also apply for an advance parole document by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. An advance parole document authorizes you to appear at a port-of entry to seek parole into the United States after temporary travel abroad. If you need to leave the United State temporarily while your Form I-485 is pending, please see the Instructions for Application for Travel Document for more information. Generally, if you have a pending Form I-485 and you leave the United States without an advance parole document, you will have abandoned your application.
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Expected Processing Times And Timelines
Visitors will have to take several steps during the processing time for the waiver of the J-1 visa until they become permanent residents. The steps will be as follows:
Visitors may try to obtain a dual intent visa. How much time this will take will depend on the visitor’s circumstances and the type of visa. The processing time depends on the annual lottery if you are seeking an H-1B visa.
There is also the PERM Labor Certification. The EB-2 green card and the EB-3 green card are options that require the visitor to obtain a PERM to go forward with the process. Employers are required to place extensive ads in newspapers and online in pursuit of a candidate for the visitor’s desired position. This is to ensure that the visitor would not be taking a job from a qualified American citizen.
The processing time usually takes 60 days while the recruitment process is ongoing. The Department of Labor will take six months to decide whether or not to accept the visitor’s application. Some employers are audited by the government and must be supervised when they recruit new employees. Visitors with jobs with employers such as these will face much longer processing J-1 visa to green card waiver times.
Learn More About Immigration Cases
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