California J1 Visa Lawyer
J-1 visa status is better known as an Exchange Visitor Visa. This program permits qualified foreigners to work or study in the United States after being sponsored through an approved private organization or governmental entity.
The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 led to the creation of the J1 visa program, which allows legal entry for foreigners to teach, instruct, research, consult or graduate from a medical school in the United States. Many programs under the J1 visa span different interests, such as studying at a U.S. university, being a professor or a scholar, or attending an American medical school — just to name a few. The length of the J1 visa holder’s stay in the U.S. depends on the kind of program that they apply under.
At Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, our California J1 visa lawyers have years of combined experience assisting applicants in obtaining a J1 visa. We will provide a confidential and no-obligation case review to discuss the strategies for attaining your J1 Nonimmigrant Visa. When you are ready for someone to listen, we are here. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your appointment today.
How Can a California J1 Visa Attorney Help?
Working with a J1 visa attorney means you obtain assistance throughout the entire cycle of your application process for your visa. Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law has experience helping applicants know what to expect and assemble all the factors required for successful approval. All applicants require a sponsor who must be a pre-approved employer, participating national government, or a university. However, the process to receive a visa can vary depending on which native country you are from.
A California J1 visa attorney will help applicants gather all the information needed to provide to the U.S. embassy in their native countries. All applicants are instructed to contact the U.S. Embassy located in their native countries, as the requirements may vary depending on which country the applicant is applying from.
Our California J1 Visa Attorneys understand that there is much information to gather, and we are here to help you with the following necessary tasks to get your interview lined up:
- Orientation on the basic requirements and expectations of the J1 visa, along with potential alternatives
- Submission of the online nonimmigrant visa application— also known as Form DS-2019 —- is available online. This application will take roughly 90 minutes to complete
- Submission of a photograph of the applicant that meets photo requirements
- Payment of any applicable fees
- Scheduling of an interview for applicants older than 14 years old and younger than 80 years old
- Preparation for any objections you may face, potentially including an appeal of a denial
To enter the U.S., J1 visa holders can arrive no more than 30 days before the start date of their J1 visa program, as stated on their approved DS-2019 form.
J1 Visa Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)
Applying for a J1 visa should be approached with care, research, and advanced know-how. Listed below are some common questions that applicants going through the application process tend to ask.
Can I Participate In Other Exchange Programs After My J1 Visa Program Is Finished?
A J1 visa cannot be transferred to start a new J1 visa program. Given so, someone who wants to transition into another program after completing their current program must secure a new sponsor and go through the application process again before re-entering the United States. Additionally, to qualify for another J1 visa program, applicants must remain in their native country for two years.
Can You Change Your J1 Program To Another?
It all depends, as this type of action is commonly considered to be a prohibited transfer from one program to another, elongating the stay beyond the intentions of the J1 Visa. The Department of State has ultimate control over authorizing any transfers, and they may approve a transfer at their sole discretion.
Any potential transferees must have sound justification for their request, such as an inability to complete the initial program as intended. Any alternative program must be similar to the initial program the J1 visa holder was approved for. The current and new sponsors must communicate to ensure there are no interruptions in the J1 visa holder’s time in the United States. Changing to an entirely unrelated J1 visa program is not permitted by the Department of State.
Can I Remain In The U.S. After My Visa Expires?
J1 visa holders are considered nonimmigrant foreigners and are expected to return to their native country after the expiration of their visa. There is a minimum domiciling period of two years before there is eligibility to reapply for another J1 visa program. Participation in a J1 visa program does not bar the individual from seeking entry through most other visas or immigration methods, however.
There are cases where J1 visa holders find themselves facing an extraneous circumstance that requires them to pursue what is known as a J1 visa waiver. These circumstances usually align with having their employer request to remain in the U.S. or getting married to a U.S. citizen. These particular situations require a J1 visa waiver of statutory requirements. The process to acquire a waiver can be cumbersome, and it is recommended that applicants work with a J1 visa attorney to successfully process all needed documentation and requirements.
Can You Extend Your J1 Visa?
J1 visa holders are allowed a 30-day grace period after their stay in the U.S. When the J1 program term is complete, they are to return to their home country for two years before being able to apply again for the program.
However, there are cases where an extension is needed. Usually, J1 visa programs allow for visa holders to stay for a predetermined period:
- Au Pair Program: 12 months can extend to 6, 9, or 12 additional months.
- Business Training: 18 months with no extensions.
- College and University Students: Duration of studies plus the duration of practical training program following graduation. The additional months for practical training programs are 18 months for baccalaureate/masters and 36 for post-doctoral students.
- College Professors: 36 months with no extensions.
- International Visitors: 12 months with no extensions.
- Government Visitors: 12 months with no extensions.
- Medical Residents or Medical Interns receiving medical training: Duration of the student’s residency program for 7 years, maximum, with no further extensions.
- School Teachers: 36 months with no extensions.
- Research Scholars: 36 months with no extensions.
- Summer Work/Travel: 4 months with no extensions.
- Trainees in Flight Aviation Programs: 24 months with no extensions.
Time is an important factor in ensuring your visa status remains active. So, if a J1 visa holder is in a situation where they need a visa extension, it is best to work with a J1 visa attorney to make sure all steps are completed to receive your extension evaluation within the allotted time frame.
Can My J1 Visa Be Terminated?
Having a J1 visa be terminated is not a likely outcome that many J1 visa holders will find themselves in. However, a J1 visa can be terminated under certain circumstances:
- Not completing or being unable to complete the activities required by your selected J1 visa program.
- Failure to maintain valid medical insurance as under 22 CFR 62.14
- Unauthorized employment while on a J1 visa status 22 CFR 62.40
Termination of a J1 visa is left to the discretion of the Department of State, and once a termination status is decided, the visa holder must leave the United States immediately.
Can a J1 Visa Applicant Bring Their Family?
The J1 Visa program is an exchange program where a foreign professional or student can come to the U.S. for a predetermined time to work or study. But a visa holder will often have a spouse or children that must come with them. If a J1 visa holder has a spouse or children under 21 who are unmarried, those family members can accompany the J1 visa holder to the United States under a J2 status. Each J2 visa is subject to individual approval by the appropriate consulate.
If the J1 visa holder is not married to their partner, their partner can come to the U.S. with a B2 tourist visa. B2 visas are considered nonimmigrant visas, and the applicant must be able to go through an interviewing process and submit proper documentation. Additionally, while a J2 visa holder can work in the U.S., they cannot use those earnings to support the J1 visa holder. Working with a California J1 visa lawyer can help you navigate this process to complete the application for a J2 visa holder.
Work With Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law — Your California J1 Visa Attorney
If you are applying for a J1 visa, the immigration lawyers at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law have years of combined experience to help applicants go through the process of attaining a J1 visa status. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online today for a no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local office. We are here to help.