Shrinking Oceans and Cutting Red Tape in Pursuit of the American Dream

Immigration Law Blog

Blog on immigration law information, issues and news.

Can you Adjust Status if you've overstayed your J-1 visa?

One issue that came across my desk recently is whether you can adjust status if you've overstayed your J-1 visa. Now I'm going to give you that famous lawyer answer - "It depends!"

It depends on the original purpose of your J-1 visa, and whether the visa you were issued is subject to the 2-year residence requirement, meaning that you have to return to your home country or country of last residence for two years. If you are subject to the 2-year residence requirement, then you may be eligible for a waiver. There are a couple of bases that may allow for you to get a waiver:

  • Exceptional Hardship on your US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident Spouse or Child
  • No-Objection Waiver - if your home country issues a no-objection statement regarding your decision not to return home
  • Request by US Federal Executive agency
  • Waiver for International Medical Graduates
  • Possible Persecution (these are rare and take a long time to process)

If you or someone you know has overstayed their visa and wants to adjust status, you should contact a lawyer for a consultation, since this can be a very complicated issue.

Mercedes Riggs