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J1, after OPT?

San Francisco, CA |

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?

Thank you!

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Attorney answers 3


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.

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


Options depend on facts. You really need to meet one on one with an experienced immigration attorney, whether myself or one of my colleagues, so that he/she can review all your documents and facts in order to determine what your options are.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


I agree with my colleague there are no profits left on this Earth. Difficult to be clairvoyant without knowledge of the facts.

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.