I suggest you should present these questions to the designated officer at your organization/institution. They should be able to guide you through these administrative questions. The answer can be found in the NAFSA Adviser’s Manual, the Bible on J and F issues. Every designated officer has access to this resource.
Once you acquire J-1 status, you will become subject to the J-1 two-year foreign residence requirement. Once you complete your residency, you will need to return to your home country for an aggregate two-years. There are several waivers of this requirement. Being subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement creates several legal disabilities when it comes to future immigration benefit applications. Specifically, one subject cannot: (1) obtain H or L visa stamps; (2) apply for the green card; and (3) apply for immigrant visa. (These things cannot be done until one obtains a waiver or fulfills). Further, if one is subject because of graduate medical education, this person will not be able to change status in the United States from J-1 to any other nonimmigrant visa status. The only exception to this is if one obtains a Conrad or interested government agency waiver requiring years of service in a medically underserved area. This person would be eligible for H-1B status to perform the work in the underserved area.
I hope this helps.
Hake & Schmitt
Attorneys at Law
P.O. Box 540 (419 Main St.), New Windsor, Maryland 21776
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.
I concur with my colleague.
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