Hello, I am currently on OPT and H1B is not an option for my company. What are my other options to stay work in the US?
Can I apply for a J1? If yes will I have to go back to France for 2 years?
This gets a bit complicated. This is a general question that cannot be quickly answered in this forum. You can file for a change of status, but It will depend on the organization providing the J-1 as to whether you will be required to spend two years outside the country based upon section 212(e). Not all J-1 visas require a 2 year residence outside the US upon J1 completion.
Those who spend more time in the United States may appear to have immigrant intent, so the J1 non immigrant visa change of status may be denied. A person with immigrant intent should be filing either an H1B visa or an immigrant visa.
I strongly recommend an appointment or teleconference with a competent and experienced immigration attorney. Good luck.
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