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H4 to J1 Conversion

Waltham, MA |

My wife will be joining me in H4 visa. She is qualified teacher with masters in home country. My question is that how can i apply for her J1 teacher visa from US without leaving the country and what is the process for it.

Thank You,

She did not have a sponsor yet so i was asking about the process as i am not clear not it. Can you please tell me about the 2 year home residency requirement ?

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Attorney answers 3


Is her potential employer a J sponsor? She will first need to receive form DS-9029 from her J sponsor.

Please click the link below for additional information.

Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
Schedule a Legal Consultation - Know Your Rights!
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.


She will need to find a J1 qualified organization and should make sure the 2 year home residency requirement does not attach.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


Once she receives a DS-2019 from a program sponsor, she can change status from H-4 to J-1. See USCIS Form I-539 and instructions on the USCIS website.

There are three ways one can become subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement. These are: (1) government funding (U.S. 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 faces several legal disabilities. Specifically, one subject cannot: (1) apply for H or L visa stamps; (2) apply for the green card; and (3) apply for an immigrant visa. One subject cannot change status from J-1 to any other nonimmigrant status in the United States, except A or G visa status unless they obtain a waiver.

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.

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