First of all, congratulations on obtaining your hardship waiver! You will need to leave the U.S. since you are on J1 status and your employer will need to file for a new H1B application. This application may be submitted on April 1, 2014; for a start date of October 1, 2014. Since there is a gap between your J1 status and H1B potential status you would need to depart unless you are sponsored by a cap-exempt employer.
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You need to discuss all your variables with an immigration visa attorney ASAP.
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There cannot be a gap between nonimmigrant statuses.
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Only if your H-1B employer is cap-exempt, and he applies for a change of status for you before December 19, 2003. Please see
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.