I am a medical resident on J1 visa with 2 years restriction to go home after completing my training, which is around 6 years. Well, I am interested in changing my visa status during the training rather than finishing the 6 years, doing a waiver, then applying for H1 then green card. I am dating an american citizen right now.
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Marrying a US citizen will provide you with a basis for permanent residence. Once married, you would be able to begin the permanent residence process right away and in general it takes about 1 year to complete, so yes this would be more immediate (and easier) than moving from J-1 to H-1 and then pursuing employment-based permanent residence.
HOWEVER - you cannot adjust to permanent resident status until you either obtain a waiver of the home residence requirement, or go home for two years.
If you are serious about getting married, you should talk with your J-1 sponsor about the waiver process. Depending on your situation, you might also want to consult with an attorney experienced in J-1 waivers. There are many attorneys on Avvo who offer free online and in-person consultations. Depending on the basis of the waiver, it might take anywhere from a couple of months (for a no-objection request) to a year or more. It is possible to pursue the waiver at the same time as your spouse files the preliminary paperwork for the permanent residence (called an I-130), so that once the waiver is issued, all that remains is the I-485 Adjustment filing.
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