I'm a French citizen living in the USA, with my wife and our two children (who are French as well). I have a J1 Visa (Research Scholar) expiring the 30th of September 2016. My employer offered to renew my contract for one year. The other member of my family have a J2 visa with the same expiration date.
My "responsible officer" told me that he could extend my DS-2019 with proper dates, so that I would be fine as long as I'm not leaving the country. I guess this is what is meant by "Reinstatement" at the Adjustments and Extensions webpage.
I'm wondering if it would be reasonable not to renew my visa, and I'm asking myself a couple of questions which are not in the J1 faq:
- Does a new visa voids the old one?
- What would be the dates range in which I could go renew my visa? For instance, would 3 months after (or before) the beginning of my new contract be too late (or too early)?
- Can I renew my visa without renewing the visa of my wife and my children? Can my wife renew her visa if I don't renew mine? Can I renew the visa of my children if I'm in France, but they didn't left the US?
- If we don't renew our visa, would that make more complicated to get new visas next year, for instance in 2018, in the case of another extension of my contract?
- Suppose an unplanned event makes us leave the country. How long would it take for us to make the appropriate arrangement so that we could take an appointment at Paris'US embassy?
I'm not subject to the Two-Year Home-Country rule. There are not a lot of questions directly related here, although this one (surprisingly) seems to suggest that there is a delay between the expiration of a J1 visa and getting another one.