Some J-1 Research Scholars are subject to a two-year 'home residency' requirement. This restriction prohibits those individuals from changing to most other non-immigrant visas unless this requirement has been waived by the U.S. Department of State and the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, or they have spent 2 years in his or her home country following completion of the J-1 stay.
In order to begin the process for a change of status, you will need to confer with your present Sponsor (faculty mentor) and have your Sponsor contact the OIS at 718.430.2850 or firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm their approval of the change in visa status.
Keep in mind that the processing time for a change of status can take 6 months or longer.
Change of Visa Status to F-1 (Student Status):
If you have been accepted to one of our degree granting programs, you will receive an “I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status,” from the OIS. You must file this form, along with:
a completed USCIS Form I-539 ,
the appropriate fee, and other supporting documentation to:
USCIS Vermont Service Center,
75 Weldon Lower Street,
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001
Eligibility to begin a program is dependent upon approval from the USCIS. As processing times for these changes of status can vary, you should always keep in contact with the OIS.
Change of Visa Status to H1B (Temporary Worker):
Once your department has contacted the OIS to indicate their agreement of the sponsorship, please go to the Change of Status to H-1B page.