After a J1 Visa
Diego Ph

J1 Visa coming to an end? What’s next after a J1 Visa?

Your J1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program is coming to an end and you are enjoying the grace period. What’s next after a J1 Visa?

Your program is reaching the expiration date and now you find yourself a little bit confused about the next step, here you will find the different options you have for keeping discovering how inspirational and formative the USA could be for you as a professional architect after a J1 visa.


H1-B Visa: is a popular option for companies wanting to bring in staff employees for a long-term assignment in the US. This Visa is oriented for graduates level workers who require you to have completed a Bachelor Degree or higher. In this case, as it is a work visa, applicants can not opt for it without having a company sponsor, and the sponsor, in this case, is your employer, therefore, the figure of the employer is essential to get it.

For this reason, applying to a prior J1 visa is essential. Your employer has the time to train you, teach you the know-how of the company, know your way of working, your involvement and you can show your desire to pursue your professional career in the States.  If this happens the H1B is your option to continue for a few more years developing your professional career in the United States


  • You can only apply for an H1-B visa once a year on a specific date, April 1st. If approved, you’ll only be able to start working on October 1st.
  • This Non-Inmigrant Visa allows you to stay in the USA for 3 years (can be extended up to a maximum of 6 years)
  • Partner and children under 21 can apply for an H-4.

This Visa option basically depends on having good luck and be very fast with the application because UCIS only issues 65,000 H1-B visas per year (to all countries and all disciplines) and since 2013 they registered more than 100,000 applications the same day application opens! So the cap gets reached within a day.

The eligibility requirements will be the following:

  • Have completed a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Have a university degree obtained abroad that is equivalent to the university degree of bachelor or postgraduate in the United States in the occupation of specialty
  • Have sufficient educational preparation in that specialty or instead have sufficient experience equivalent to the degree obtained through progressive job positions.

To know more about the H1 Visa

O1-B Visa, The Artist visa: is a non-immigrant visa for those who possess extraordinary skills or have demonstrated extraordinary achievements in their careers. If you are a kind of artist of those who is not cataloged, a true artist or a person who has hardly demonstrated their professional skills, enjoy a previous J1 Visa will allow you to get to known, create networking, circles, networks of contacts and, of course, develop jobs that will allow you to strengthen your subsequent application to an O1 Visa


  • This Non-Inmigrant Visa allows you to stay in the USA for an initial period of 3 years
  • This is another case of work Visa so as it happened in the H1, it is necessary the figure of an employer to be able to apply for this Visa
  • Do not think that it is only linked to the traditional arts also for those participants with special achievements in science, sports, education, business, film or television industry.

The eligibility requirements will be the following:

  • Have received recognition for your work as having received a prize or having been nominated.
  • Have been the Author of articles in relevant media and professional publications.
  • Receive a high salary or other compensation or work in organizations of distinguished reputation.

Do not panic, at first glance, the O1 Visa may seem complicated and it is, but not impossible at all and not viable for all. If you want to stay in the United States, give yourself the opportunity to believe in the merit of know how. If this is hard to believe, check the experience of two of our J1 Participants, Rodrigo Castroviejo at Cetra Ruddy and Claudia Conde at HOK who got the Artist Visa.

Reapply for a J1 Visa: this is the other option that many of the J1 Visa participants choose in order to the United States. When your professional experience with the previous J1 Visa has come to an end and you do not have an employer that applies for you to continue in the United States, when you have been offered another position but as J1 Visa or simply because you feel the desire to return to repeat the experience but … what would the procedure be like? there are two options as long as you’re not subject to the two-year home residency requirement  (please note that Architect-US Participants are not subjected by this requirement).

The process for reapplying for another J1 Visa depends on whether you want to pursue an internship or training program and if you are currently an intern or a trainee.

If you are/were in the US on a J1 Intern visa:

  • To qualify for J1 Intern Visa, you must show completion of at least 1 semester of full-time more advanced studies since completion of their previous J1 Internship
  • To qualify for J1 Trainee Visa, you must spend at least two years outside the US since completion of your previous J1 Internship program, and gain experience outside the US.

If you are/were in the US on a J1 Trainee visa:

  • To qualify for J1 Intern visa, you must show that they have completed at least 1 semester of full-time more advanced studies since completion of their previous J1 Trainee program
  • To qualify for another J1 Trainee visa, you have to spend at least two years outside the US since completion of your previous J1 Trainee program, and gain experience outside the US.

IMPORTANT: In general, if you want to re-apply for a J1 Trainee Visa, regardless of whether you were an intern or trainee or if you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement, you must leave the U.S. for at least two years.

After fulfilling this requirement, you can reapply for the J1 Visa within the category you choose and come back to the States for up to 12 (Interns) 18 (Trainees) months and Architect-US will be glad to assist you in the process.

We hope we have clarified your options after a J1 Visa if you believe that your adventure in the States is not over, for those who believe it, happy return home!




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