Can I reinstate my status(J-1 visa) after being out of status for 4 and 1/2 years? Or can I get any other legal status now?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Minneapolis, MN

I was engaged to a US citizen and was suppoused to get married within 3 days after my visa expired(due to finalazing of his divorse.Than he desided that he got cold feet and other excuses for the delay of the marrige.We have a child together(US born) and have been living together the whole time.It was NOT my will to be out of status and now even my passport has recently expired!I was just naive and lied to.I need some kind of legal status so I'm able to stay in the US so I can take care of my child and have full parental rights , without beeing marrid to someone .Can you , please ,advise!

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Alexander Joseph Segal

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Talk to the foreign student adviser; It seems to me that you should be able to

    NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866)... more
  2. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Step 1: get married.
    Step 2: your spouse petitions you and you file for adjustment of status.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more
  3. Madhu Kalra


    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Agreed with Mr. Ferrari that you should get married and have your spouse file petition on your behalf and adjust your status.

    Madhu Kalra Kalra Law Firm 23720 Arlington Avenue, Ste 5 Torrance, Ca 90501 (310) 325-9012
  4. Brian Christopher Schmitt


    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Let me build on the answers from the other lawyers.

    You first need to determine whether you are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement. This is a complex and abstract analysis that should be performed by a lawyer with specific experience in J-1 matters.

    Here is why you need to address whether you are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement.

    One can become subject in three ways, which are: (1) government funding (U.S. and/or foreign government funding; (2) home country skills list; and (3) participation in graduate medical education.

    One subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement is subject to three legal disabilities. Specifically, one subject cannot: (1) apply for H or L visa stamps; (2) apply for a green card (therefore, the advice by the other lawyers (marry and file for the green card) will not work if you are subject to the two-year foreign residence rqeuirement)); and (3) apply for an immigrant visa. Further, one subject cannot change status from J-1 to any other nonimmigrant status except A or G visa status.

    I hope this answer helps.

    Brian Schmitt
    Hake & Schmitt
    Attorneys at Law
    P.O. Box 540 (419 Main St.), New Windsor, Maryland 21776
    Phone: 410-635-3337

    Required Disclaimer: This information is generalized and should not be relied upon as legal advice; and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Related Topics


If you want to visit or move permanently to the US, you'll want to learn about your different immigration options.

Adjustment of immigration status

When a person in the United States changes his or her immigration status to permanent resident, this is called "adjustment of status."

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