J1 Visa and 2 Years Residency Requirements

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    • #526
      Raghuram Sukumar

      Here’s one student that reached out to me with her questions about J1 Visa and 2 Years Residency Requirements.

      Greetings ! 

      I am a prefinal year undergraduate student with majors in petroleum engineering. It’s rightly said life ends up in confusions. 
      As you might be knowing that there is recession in oil market as displayed in current news every now and then. So as the possibility of getting a job in India is pretty less. I thought to have a plan b in order to save myself from the jobless situation and ended up preparing for gre. 

      I have still not given the exam but the tentative dates will be in August for me appearing for the same. Now what is the confusion in it as my subject states. 

      Last December seeing the market and as petroleum is not a widespread field I decided to do a research internship in universities abroad. 
      I applied to 300 professors across the globe who teach petroleum subjects and got 5 replies (positive replies). 
      After screening through them (based on my budget and the stipend they will give me) I ended up selecting 2 options. One is in university of Oklahoma (USA) and other is petroleum institute (Abu Dhabi). Last summers I went to Oklahoma for an international exposure program for 30 days on J1 visa. This time I will be going on J1 research visa. The two year gap of USA when one takes j1 is a factor that scares me of taking the internship in USA as then for masters I need to sit for one year. 

      And I am also confused in these two options as the current markets are low there are no scopes of jobs in USA so it’s better to go for UAE where the production will never halt for at least 20 years. 

      I love both the projects offered to me. So interest is not playing a dominant role. I want this research internship to be an edge on my cv so that good universities give me admit after my gre. And I can’t really rank these two selected universities like that. 

      I seek for your help in this decision making process. 

      I interviewed this student – Watch the Interview Here.

    • #527
      Raghuram Sukumar

      And here’s another thread related to the same topic.


      I don’t think it is relevant question for this forum but I did not know where else to post it. Hope you can give me some advice I am tensed.

      So I came to the US on a J1 visa in 2011 Sept and then went back April 2012. My visa said I was subject to the 2 year foreign residence rule but info I had from few friends was that if I go back and come on a F1 the 2 year rule doesn’t apply it applies only for changing J1 to H, K or L visa. So I went back in April 2012 and came as F1 student around December 2012. There was no problem any where till date and never anyone told me anything else regarding the 2 year home country residence rule anymore so I believed that changing to F1 negates it. Till yesterday when my attorney filing my H1 from my workplace asked me if I had a waiver for the rule since I was on a J1 once. I said I never was told to take a waiver since I thought changing to F1 doesn’t need a waiver for the rule anymore. I was then informed by him that the 2 year rule never gets out of your life n stays forever until you either go back finish 2 years in your country or you get a waiver. So I thought okay lets see how to take a waiver. I came on J1 sponsoring myself without any government help. When I checked looks like the process is tedious as it requires getting no objection letters from Indian government offices and lot of legal paperwork. All this takes upto almost a year to get the waiver. Now I am on OPT extension untill next June 2017 and my attorney says that in that case if you get the waiver before next year April we can file H1 for next year but looks like not possible this year. It makes me feel so bad that I would be missing a great chance to apply to H1 this year when my company is ready. Next year would be my last and only chance decreasing my chances to be selected any further.

      Do you have any idea how I can bypass the waiver issue or if I have to how I can speed up in any case getting this waiver. I just cant think straight n don’t know where to be angry as the school should have told me – that even if I change to F1 I would be still subjected to the 2 year rule. That info might have led to a decision of not coming here and putting money in doing another masters. Please advise. All my paperwork for H1 filing is ready and is started processing but until I get that waiver I am stuck.


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