I'm in J-1 status (since 2010), currently doing Academic training. I came to the US in 2010 and got bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering.

I've been working for almost a year in my post-school academic training and my company wants to keep me. We are thinking about applying for H1B visa. My question is regarding traveling.

Is it ok to travel outside the US for Christmas and then apply for H1B visa after returning? I ask because I'd be re-entering the US in J-1 status but I don't know if applying for H1B, say within a month of re-entering the US, could negatively affect my application (if it could be seen as having pre-conceived intent to change status)?

Obviously, it's not pre-conceived intent when you think that I've had this J-1 visa for 6 years and when I initially got it, I proved no intent to have a different status other than J-1 but I am not sure if by leaving for Christmas and coming back forces me to again show intent to keep J-1 status or 'clears' the intent I had when I got the visa for the first time 6 years earlier.

Thanks for the help

  • Does your J1 visa have a two-year home residency requirement? – Giorgio Nov 22 '16 at 0:27
  • @Dorothy no, the two year rule does not apply – Big6 Nov 22 '16 at 0:58
  • About travelling: yes, you definitely can travel home and abroad as many times as you employee contract lets you, BUT each of your entrance to US will depend on boarder officer, which can let you come in or not, so it's gonna be risky every time you travel abroad and they do not recommend you to do it vith visa (vithout green card). But this is the other opportunity: to get h1b visa and ask your employee to apply for your green card right away (you already worked a year with them, they are able to do it). – Anna Bot Nov 22 '16 at 8:36
  • 2
    @AnnaBot That seems to make little sense. I believe a majority of the foreigners entering the US are not permanent residents, and green cards are not that easy to get. Of course people will still need to occasionally get out to visit their family/travel etc.? To not leave the US at all doesn't seem to be such a sensible strategy – xji Nov 30 '16 at 10:01

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