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J-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


What is the processing time for J-1 visa?

J-1 visa is generally issued within 30 days from the day the application is submitted. Depending upon the backlog at the American Consulate where you have submitted the application it may take up to 60 days.


Can I change status while on J-1 visa?

Exchange visitors participating in certain types of programs may be required to return to their home countries for at least two years before they are permitted to
adjust status from J-1 visa to Green Card or apply for change of status. If not subject to the home residency requirment you may change status in the U.S.

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Can I apply for Green Card while on J-1 visa?

You may apply for an immigrant status in the U.S. through the following options if you are not subject to the HRR:

  • Family Based Immigration: If you have close relatives who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, the relatives may file an immigration petition for you as the beneficiary.
  • Employment Based Immigration(Labor Certification): You may find an employer who is willing to file a Labor Certificate for you with the DOL.
  • EB-1: You may also file an immigration petition based on the classification of 'Alien of Extraordinary Ability' - EB-1(A) or 'Outstanding Professor/Researcher' - EB-1(B)
  • National Interest Waiver: You may also file an immigration petition through a 'National Interest Waiver' (NIW). National interest waivers are available to foreign nationals who are seeking work in a profession and who have an advanced degree (or equivalent experience) or can prove themselves as 'aliens of exceptional ability'.

Note: If you are subject to the HRR you must get a waiver before applying for immigrant status.

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