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Reapply for a J1 Visa
Saulo Mohana

Reapply for a J1 Visa

For those who finally made it to the US and through the J1 visa process, it would be nice to not think about reapply for a J1 Visa. Yet towards the end of the internship or training period, one must confront the impending annoyance of applying for a second J1 Visa: another round of research, menial tasks and checkboxes to tick off. What’s worse, there’s almost no easily accessible information out there on reapplying for a J1 Visa.

But do not worry, the Architect-US is here to help.

DO YOU WANT TO EXTEND OR REAPPLY FOR A J1 VISA?

First, please note that there is a difference between extending and reapplying for a J1 visa.

In most cases, J1 visa holders’ non-immigrant status is valid until the expiration date printed on your visa. Applicants normally get the J1 status with enough time to complete your program. However, if the aforementioned does not apply to you and you are trying to extend your internship or training time period, please check out this post regarding extending your J1 visa.

If you have enough time to complete your current internship or training, but you would like to apply for training or internship with another program in the same field, please continue reading.

TWO YEAR HOME COUNTRY PHYSICAL PRESENCE REQUIREMENT

Now, you have to figure out if you have subjected to the two years home country physical presence requirement. Don’t know what that is? Check out this post.

Continue reading if you were not subjected to the two years home country physical presence requirement or you had had your requirement waived.

REAPPLY FOR A J1 VISA AS INTERN OR TRAINEE?

Now it’s time to decide if you want to return with the J1 Visa as an intern or trainee. Regardless of what you decide, you will have to leave the US for a certain period of time.

IMPORTANT: If you wish to pursue an internship or training in another field, the information below does not apply to you. In this case, please check the eligibility rules for the J1 Visa application procedure (scroll to the bottom to what are the eligibility requirements for a training/internship program). J1 Visa. You will need to apply for a brand new J1 Visa.

Below are some scenarios regarding returning as an intern or trainee:

You completed a program as an Intern and you wish to qualify again as an Intern.

Minimum Requirement: You have to pursue at least one semester of full-time studies from a degree or certificate granting course more advanced than your current degree and relating to your occupational field from a post-secondary education institution accredited by the local Ministry of Education.

You completed a program as a Trainee and you now qualify as an intern.

Minimum Requirement: You have to pursue at least one semester of full-time studies from a degree or certificate granting course more advanced than your current degree and relating to your occupational field from a post-secondary education institution accredited by the local Ministry of Education.

You completed a program as an Intern and you now qualify as a Trainee.

Minimum Requirement: Interns are eligible for additional training programs after a period of at least two years residency outside the US following completion of their interning program.

You completed a program as a Trainee and you wish to do another Trainee program.

Minimum Requirement: Trainees are eligible for additional training programs after a period of at least two years residency outside the US following completion of their training program.

EXAMPLES

Below are some examples highlighting the aforementioned nuances in reapplying for an intern or training J1 visa.

Case 1: J1 Research Scholar -> J1 Trainee

Jorge has been studying as a research scholar on the J1 visa for two years at NYU. He is hoping to apply for a Trainee J1 visa to work as a trainee at an architecture firm in NYC.

What should he do? Jorge has no restriction in how soon he can apply for a Trainee J1 after Research Scholar J1, but given that all his experience is in the US, he needs to gain one year experience of full-time work outside of US before applying for a J1 trainee. Find more information here.

Case 2: J1 Intern -> J1 Trainee

Alice is finishing a 12-month intern program in January 2018 in Philadelphia and she would like to apply for an 18-month trainee J1 visa to work in Los Angeles or New York City.

What should she do? Participants who have completed the J1 intern program will have to leave the U.S. for 2 years before applying for a J1 Trainee program. However, if she would like to enroll in more advanced studies and completes at least one semester of full-time studies outside of the States, she will be eligible for an internship program. This full-time studies must be a degree or certificate granting course more advanced than her current degree and relating to her occupational field from a post-secondary education institution accredited by the local Ministry of Education.

Case 3:  J1 Trainee -> J1 Trainee

Peter currently holds the J1 visa Trainee in Chicago and want to know requirements to obtain a new J1 visa Trainee in another city. His current visa expires on December 2018 and is funded by the government, but he has already waived the two years home country physical presence requirement.

What should he do to reapply for a J1 Visa? Trainees are eligible for additional training programs after a period of at least two years residency outside the US following completion of their training program. So he cannot be eligible to repeat the J1 Trainee program until December 2020. This is different from the 2-year government-funded VISA rule; regardless of whether he is subjected to the two year home residency requirement, he can’t repeat a J1 program until after he spends 2 years outside the US.

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