Is there a method to hold working within the US after my J-1 visa expires? •


Sophie Alcorn is the founding father of Alcorn Immigration Regulation in Silicon Valley and 2019 International Regulation Consultants Awards’ “Regulation Agency of the 12 months in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Companies.” She connects folks with the companies and alternatives that broaden their lives.

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Right here’s one other version of “Pricey Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at technology corporations.

“Your questions are important to the unfold of data that enables folks everywhere in the world to rise above borders and pursue their goals,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether or not you’re in folks ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I might like to reply your questions in my subsequent column.”

TechCrunch+ members obtain entry to weekly “Pricey Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Pricey Sophie,

I’m a Fulbright scholar on a J-1 visa. I’ve been instructed that after my J-1 ends, I’m required to return to my nation for 2 years.

Is there a manner I can keep within the U.S.? Can I apply for an O-1A or inexperienced card even when I’ve to return to my nation?

— Looking for to Keep

Pricey Looking for,

Congrats on becoming a member of the ranks of the Fulbright students! It is a nice accomplishment that can seemingly bolster an eventual inexperienced card software!

Nonetheless, being a Fulbright scholar additionally comes with a price: I’ve by no means seen a Fulbright scholar get a 212(e) waiver for the J-1 two-year international residency requirement. (In case you are a Fulbright scholar who acquired the waiver accepted, please message me!)

I not too long ago spoke with Anthony Pawelski, the senior worldwide adviser at Mass Basic Brigham, which consists of 16 establishments together with Harvard- and Tufts-affiliated instructing hospitals. In that function, Pawelski prepares 1000’s of J-1 and different non-immigrant visa purposes annually, however he says he has solely seen waivers granted to Fulbright students just a few instances. Even waiver requests for Fulbright students that had been filed by NASA and the Nationwide Science Basis have been denied.

Pawelski additionally notes that India won’t assist J-1 waivers for medical docs educated in India, and that Thailand and the Philippines are very strict about supporting waivers.

Earlier than I share extra about your visa and inexperienced card choices to work within the U.S. after your trade go to ends, right here’s a primer on the J-1 two-year residence residency requirement, and the method to hunt a waiver for individuals who are eligible. A phrase of warning: The J-1 is a non-immigrant intent visa, so individuals who intend to hunt a inexperienced card or stay completely within the U.S. are denied J-1 visas.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a brand new window)

Two-year residence residency requirement

As you most likely know, the J-1 academic and cultural trade visa has a number of advantages, reminiscent of being open to people in a variety of fields, and permitting a J-1 visa holder’s partner to use for a piece allow. Whereas its advantages can far outweigh the drawbacks, the largest limitation of the J-1 is the one you’re dealing with: the two-year residence residency requirement.

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