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Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: J1 visa problems...help!

  1. #1
    Guest
    Hi,

    I am a US citizen married to a Greek Cypriot holding a J1 visa. We have a 17 mos old daughter (she really misses her daddy) who is a US citizen. My husband left the US a couple of mos ago because his visa was expiring and he had exhausted his educational time in this country (he almost has a PhD in Engineering). My question is: Is there anything my husband can do to change his status other than spending the 2 yr residency req. in Cyprus? I have no source of income and am currently on welfare so there is definitely hardship in our family but is this enough to change his status? We were told he can't even apply for a green card or citizenship until his visa status is no longer J1...Is this true? Is there anything I can do on his behalf?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Guest
    Hi,

    I am a US citizen married to a Greek Cypriot holding a J1 visa. We have a 17 mos old daughter (she really misses her daddy) who is a US citizen. My husband left the US a couple of mos ago because his visa was expiring and he had exhausted his educational time in this country (he almost has a PhD in Engineering). My question is: Is there anything my husband can do to change his status other than spending the 2 yr residency req. in Cyprus? I have no source of income and am currently on welfare so there is definitely hardship in our family but is this enough to change his status? We were told he can't even apply for a green card or citizenship until his visa status is no longer J1...Is this true? Is there anything I can do on his behalf?

    Thanks for any help.

  3. #3
    Guest
    I think that he can ask his country (government) to write a letter of no objection. Then apply for waiver.....you need to speak to a lawyer who is an expert on J1 matters.

  4. #4
    Guest
    Hi guest,

    My boyfriend is also a Greek on J1 visa, subject to two-year home residency requirement. Yes, it's true that he needs to either fullfil the requirement or have it waived before he can change his status to any other immigrant visa (or even H1B). There are several ways to do so: 1. Have his government (or the agency sponsoring his J1 visa) agree to write a no-objection letter; 2. the U.S. government can sponsor him for the waiver, if he's employed by the goverment (e.g. if he's a professor in a university then the department of education can be his sponsor); 3. extreme hardship; and 4. political asylum (which I don't think applies to you since he's from Greece).

    My boyfriend's friend, who's also a J1 visa holder, was lucky enough to be selected by the green card lottery, but at the end got denied because of her status.

    Has he used up his practical training yet? I think he can have 18 months of practical training, or 3 years if he has a Ph.D degree.

    Another option is to change his status to F1 visa, then he'll be able to stay for the duration of his study. He'll still be subject to the 2 year requirement, but at least he'll have completed his Ph.D and it'll be easier for him to get sponsored for the waiver.

  5. #5
    Guest
    Hi J1,

    Thanks for the reply. My husband has unfortunately used up his practical training...so that wouldn't work...and they won't exchange his J1 for an F1, and his govt is suing his parents for breach of contract over his status...so unless he turns around and sues them for picking and choosing (depending on family ties/affiliations) who gets a waiver and who doesn't I guess he doesn't really have any way of getting out of the residency reqt. He is technically a refugee as his family lost their home in the Turkish invasion in the early 70's but I don't know that this is of any consequence now.**sigh**

  6. #6
    Guest
    guest, sorry to hear that. Have you considered going to Canada (or any where else)?

  7. #7
    Guest
    It ***** but why can't you both go back to Greece? It is two years, Greece is not a third world country and technically he got his PhD to help his country. So he needs to help the people of his country then after the two years come back to the US and live his life. Afterall, he did make a commitment...and if he just does his duty it show good faith.

    Goodluck to you all and I hope that everything works out.

  8. #8
    Guest
    Hi guest,

    When I said change his status from J1 to F1, I don't mean asking his sponsoring agent to change it. But he can apply for the F1 visa himself in the U.S. consulate in his home country (without the approval of the sponsoring agency). I have a friend who was on J1 before and changed to F1. Of course he'll still be subject to the 2 year requirement, but this is just a temporary measure for him to stay and finish his degree. After he gets the Ph.D degree, it'd be a lot easier to find a government agency who'll sponsor him for the waiver (e.g. he can be a professor). He'll need his I-20 from school to apply for F1 visa.

  9. #9
    Guest
    Thanks for your help anon and jl. Anon, my husband is from Cyprus not Greece. Unfortunately the Cypriot gov't picks and chooses to let certain people out of the 2 yr residency req't depending on their political affiliations and family ties. If my husband could find a good paying job in Cyprus which matched his qualifications he would take the job in a heartbeat. Unfortunately Cyprus is a small island w/a healthy population and there are not many jobs available for people over 25 yrs..I kid you not! My husband has been looking for work now for 6 mos in good faith ...if they can't give him a job they should release him from the residency reqt. While my husband is running around looking for a job the Cyprus govt is out hiring Russian scientists...is that fair?

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