If you come to the US on a J1 visa then you can technically apply for an H1-B visa at the beginning of the new fiscal year if the visa cap has not already been met. However, if your employer is exempt from the status then you are eligible to apply at any time.
- Visa cap is met and you can’t complete the J1 to H1-B transfer
- Your J1 visa may have a 2-year home residency requirement (meaning you must reside in your home country for two years before applying for any type of work visa).
To avoid the residency requirements, you may be eligible to apply for a J1 visa waiver to simplify the process.
J1 visa waiver requirements:
- No Objection Statement
- Interested Government Agency in the U.S.
- Claim of Persecution
- Claim of Exceptional Hardship
- Request from Designated State Health Agency
As you may already know, the immigration process can be complicated. It is virtually impossible to say which solution is best for you without properly discussing the specifics of your situation. It is best to go over the details with an immigration attorney.
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