J1 Visa Transfer to H-1B: The Ultimate Guide

If you are currently in the United States on a J1 visa but want to work here for a longer time, you may be curious about how to transfer to an H-1B visa. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go through the essential information about transferring from J1 to H-1B visa.

Key Takeaways

  • The J1 to H-1B visa transfer is possible if you meet the eligibility criteria and if there are H-1B visas available.
  • The transfer process requires an employer to sponsor your H-1B visa and to file a new H-1B petition on your behalf.
  • You must meet the educational and work experience requirements for the H-1B visa.
  • Premium processing can expedite the visa transfer process for faster approval.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a J1 to H-1B visa transfer, you should fulfill the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Your J1 visa status should be valid.
  2. You should have a job offer from a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor your H1B visa.
  3. You should meet the educational and work experience requirements for the H-1B visa.

Steps for J1 to H-1B Visa Transfer

The following are the steps for transferring from J1 to H1B visa:

  1. Find a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor your H-1B visa. The employer will file an H-1B visa petition on your behalf.
  2. Wait until USCIS approves your H-1B visa petition. Once the petition is approved, you can begin working with your employer on H-1B visa status.
  3. If your current J-1 visa has a two-year foreign residency requirement, you may need to meet that requirement or obtain a waiver before applying for an H-1B visa transfer.
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Educational and Work Experience Requirements

To be eligible for an H-1B visa, you should meet the educational and work experience requirements. You should have:

  1. A bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited institution in a relevant field.
  2. Relevant work experience in your area of study.
  3. Equivalent work experience in a relevant field for each year that is missing in your education.

Processing Time and Fees

The processing time and fees for a J1 to H-1B visa transfer depend on various factors, such as:

  1. Whether you apply for regular or premium processing.
  2. Whether there are any issues with your petition, such as a request for evidence (RFE).
  3. Whether you need additional documentation or information.

The USCIS fees for H-1B visa transfer include the following:

  1. Base filing fee: $460
  2. ACWIA fee: $750 or $1,500
  3. Fraud prevention and detection fee: $500
  4. Public Law 114-113 fee: $4,000

Premium Processing

Premium processing can be an excellent option to expedite the visa transfer process. With premium processing, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. However, premium processing requires an additional fee of $2,500, which is in addition to the regular fees.

FAQ

  1. Can you apply for a J1 to H-1B visa transfer if you are subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement?

It is possible to transfer from a J-1 visa to an H-1B visa if you are subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. However, you may need to fulfill the two-year requirement or obtain a waiver before filing for an H-1B visa transfer.

  1. Can you transfer your J1 visa to an H-1B visa without a job offer?
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No, you need a job offer from a U.S. employer to transfer your J1 visa to an H-1B visa.

  1. Can you work while your H-1B visa transfer is pending?

Yes, you can work with your J-1 visa status while your H-1B visa transfer is pending. However, you cannot start working until the H-1B visa is approved.

In conclusion, the J1 to H-1B visa transfer can be an excellent option to work in the United States for an extended period. With proper documentation and a job offer from a U.S. employer, the process can be smooth and hassle-free. We hope this guide has cleared up any doubts you had about the J1 to H-1B transfer process.

About the Author

Latasha W. Bolt

Latasha is a travel writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a degree in journalism and has been traveling the world since she was a teenager. Latasha is experienced in navigating the visa and passport application process and shares her knowledge and experiences on the blog. Her articles are personal and engaging, providing readers with a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of international travel.

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