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Can I change from a J-1 trainee visa to an H visa without having to reside out of the US for 2 years?

Seattle, WA |

I held a J-1 intern visa in 2010 and had to wait two years to apply for the J-1 trainee visa .I am getting a J-1-trainee visa now but would like to later on change to an H visa when the previous expires. Will I have to wait another 2 years? Is there any way around this?

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Attorney answers 3


The only reason you would have to wait two years is if you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement. Check your form DS-2019 and your J-1 visa.

Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.

Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
Schedule a Legal Consultation - Telephonic, Skype or In-Person
600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 394-4554 x0
Web: (English) (Spanish)

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


I agree with Mr. Shusterman, but note that you will need to carefully review your paperwork to make sure that you are not subject to Section 212(e), which is the 2 year home country residence requirement. Not all J-1 visa holders are subject.

Good luck.

This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.


Not unless you are subject tot he 2 year home residency requirement

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104