Is a J-1 visa holder eligible to apply for a green card in the USA?

You may be. Only certain J-1 Visa holders are eligible for green card status. For example, under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, J-1 Visa holders who have:

· Participated in a program funded in whole, or in part, by the U.S. government or the immigrant’s home country,

· Emigrated from a nation that the U.S. government has designated as one in short supply of people with your skill set or specialized knowledge, or

· Received medical training in the U.S. as an intern or resident

Must physically return to their home country for two years before applying for a green card in the United States. You can check whether or not this two year requirement applies to you by looking at your DS-2019 form. If you are subject to the two year requirement, you can apply for a waiver. You will receive this waiver if you can prove, among other things, that you did not originally intend to move to the United States permanently after obtaining your J-1 Visa.

J-1 Visa holders can apply for a green card by having family members file a petition on their behalf, obtaining employer sponsorship, filing a national interest waiver, or filing an EB-1 waiver.

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