I have been on a J1 student intern visa this spring, visa covering the period from Feb 9, 2015 to Aug 7, 2015 (180 days, or 5 months and 25 days). Am I subject to the twelve months bar that comes with the J1 Research Scholar visa? I have not been able to find a definitive clear condition on the bar. Does it apply if the stay was >=180 days, or >=6 months?

Also, I used the 30 day grace period to get settled end of January and left early September, does this grace period count towards the J1 stay length?

Finally, if I am subject to this bar, is there any alternative? I might get offered a research position at a university and I'm looking at visa options. H1B might be another option but more lengthy and cumbersome to get?

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    I find it's unclear in your question...you were on a J-1 intern visa, correct? From what I'm finding on various university sites, you could get a J-1 for a different category like research scholar and would not be affected by the ban. – mkennedy Oct 7 '15 at 8:47
  • I was on a J-1 student intern visa. There is a 12 months bar that comes with the J-1 scholar visa if you were in the US under another J-1 visa category unless "The participant's presence in the United States was of less than six months duration". The part I am not sure about is the duration of my stay: I was on the J-1 for exactly 5 months and 25 days, but came a bit earlier and a bit left later ("grace period"). USCIS says: "During this 30-day grace period, participants are no longer in J-visa status, and are under the jurisdiction of the USCIS". Does this mean I am not subject to the bar? – Andreas Oct 7 '15 at 15:06

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