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Q: J1 Visa holder marrying and american citizen ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: J1 Visa holder marrying and american citizen
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: myn1119-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 06 Jan 2005 08:18 PST
Expires: 05 Feb 2005 08:18 PST
Question ID: 452986
I hold a J1 visa as I am working here in an exchange program. My visa
is for three years and this is my last one, it expires on July 2005. I
am getting married this year to an american citizen. I know that I
have to waive the two year country residence requierement in order to
stay here with my husband and not go back to my country for all that
time. My problem is that my embassy requieres a letter from my company
in order to give me the "no objection" letter and my company refuses
to give it to me as they do not want anyone of us staying here in the
United States. I just want to know how can I waive the requierement if
the company is not willing to help? I know there are other three ways
to ask for a waiver but I don't think I fall into any of those
categories but I hope there is something I could do. Can my company
refuse to help? are they aloud to refuse helping someone that is
marrying and american citizen? I am a professional, I have been
working for the community here and I can prove that I have been
excellent in my work place...would that help at all?
What would happen if I get married and my waiver is in progress by the
time that my visa expires? Would I have to go back to my country and
wait for the waiver of could I stay here as a 'non-status'?  Would
immigration aloud me to stay? I need to know what to do, I'm very
frustrated as I never thought that after working for a company for
three years..they would refuse to help. They are not doing the letters
for anyone, this is not my case only. There are many more people like
Thanks a lot for your help

Request for Question Clarification by legolas-ga on 23 Jan 2005 22:36 PST
I think you're making this more complicated that necessary. I can
actually answer the question as is, but, I wanted to clarify
something. I am confused about "I have to waive the two year country
reidence requirement in order to stay here with my husband". Can you
elaborate on that? I really don't quite understand what that means...
Just to be clear:

1) You are in the USA legally now and were inspected upon entry
2) You are marrying a US Citizen (and NOT a Permanent Resident)
3) You did not "intend" on marriage prior to entering the US, but only
subsequent to your arrival did you decide to marry



Clarification of Question by myn1119-ga on 24 Jan 2005 13:47 PST
First of all...Thanks a lot for answering!! and I'm sorry if I was not very clear.
My J1 visa is subject to a two year residence requierement which means
that I would have to leave the USA after my contract here expires
(June 2005) and not come back for two years. To waive this condition
I'll have to apply for a Waiver issued by the Department of State. My
concern is that in order to apply for this waiver I need to have a No
Objection letter from my Embassy, and in order to have that letter
I'll need a letter from my company...that is the one that I have not
been able to get.
All what you're saying is true, I came here legally, I did not intend
to marry was something that happened!!! and he is an
American citizen.
Once again thanks for your help and hope to hear from you soon!
Subject: Re: J1 Visa holder marrying and american citizen
Answered By: legolas-ga on 25 Jan 2005 10:21 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi myn1119-ga,

First off, Google Answers should not be taken for legal advise, etc..
See the disclaimers below. I take no responsibility if the information
below gets you arrested, thrown in jail, and beheaded.. But, I
seriously doubt it!

I've answered similar questions like this before--and, like most, you
are confused by the seeming "rules" of your visa. However, I have some
good news for you. Since you are marrying a US Citizen, all bets are
off on the J1 visa. You become instantly a new class of person; an
intending immigrant. As such, the state department would not even
issue a J1 to you at all (well, not without a lot of headache and
paperwork). Basically, what happens is that you become immediately
eligible for a immigrant visa number to be assigned and for you to
receive a green card. Now, since you'll be married under 2 years at
the time it is approved, it would be a 'conditional' green card (that
is, you need to remove the "conditions" before the two year
anniversary of your marriage. As long as you are still together, there
would be no issues.)

So, in a nut shell:

1) As soon as you are married, you are immediately eligible to apply
for and receive a green card.
2) Your I-94 and J1 can be safely ignored.
3) There is no need for ANY other documents or waivers, etc..

However, I would **NOT** leave the country prior to obtaining your
green card OR a valid Advanced Parole document. If you do so, you WILL
be barred entry back into the US until such time as you complete the
Application for Permanent Residency abroad. That can take (depending
on where you came from) from weeks to YEARS.

YOU GET MARRIED FOR ANY REASON! Basically, you are stranded in the US
until after your marriage and AFTER you obtain your green card OR
advanced parole. That **INCLUDES** honeymoons!! If you leave the
country FOR ANY REASON -- even to have a vacation -- you may be barred
entry back into the country.

Once you are married, you need to file the appropriate documents to
the Service Center that has jurisdiction over where you live.

Family-Based Applications

Immediate Relatives

If you are the immediate relative (spouse, parent or unmarried child
under 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen, submit the following forms:

I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status 
G-325A, Biographic Information 
Either your original I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if you are
filing concurrently), or a copy of your I-797, Notice of Action (if
the petition was already approved).
I-864, Affidavit of Support 
I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status 
All required supporting documentation as listed on the above forms. 

You may also submit the following forms:

G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative (if
you have a lawyer)
I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if you want to work
while your application is processed
I-131, Application for Travel Document, if you need to travel outside
the United States while your application is processed
I-485 Supplement A, and penalty fee if applicable. See 8 CFR 245.10 
I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability, if applicable 

You can obtain the forms listed above, here:

Since nothing less than a five-star rating is acceptable to me, if any
part of this question is confusing or unclear to you, please ask for
clarification prior to rating and thus closing this question.



No search was performed.

Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 25 Jan 2005 10:23 PST
Oh, one more thing... Marriage before or after the visa expires isn't
a big deal. You can never really be out-of-status if you are married
to a US Citizen. HOWEVER, if you get put into deportation proceedings
prior to filing, you'll leave the realm of do-it-yourself immigration
and immediately need a lawyer. So, I'd get married prior to your visa
expiring. Then, just ignore the out-of-status issues. Since you are
petitioning as an immediate relative of a US citizen, there is no
'penalty fee' applicable, and hence, no (worrisome) issues created.


Request for Answer Clarification by myn1119-ga on 25 Jan 2005 15:15 PST
Well...hope I don't get beheaded!!! haha. Ok, so what you are telling
me is that I don't need to have a waiver? even with a requirement in
my J1 visa? I've contact an attorney and he never told me that!! If
this is the way you're saying then I'll be able to sleep again!!!
Thanks a lot!!!

Request for Answer Clarification by myn1119-ga on 25 Jan 2005 15:32 PST
Hi!! one more thing I went through all my documents and found my
RULE: Exchange visitors ahose prpgrams are financed in whole or part,
directly or indirectly by either their goverment or by the US Gov. ,
are requiered to reside in their home country for towo year following
completion of their program before they are eligible for immigrant
status, temporary work status (H1), or intracompany transferee (L0
status. Likewise, if exchange visitors are acquiring a skill which is
in short supply in their home country they will be subjetc to the same
two year home country residence requierement. NOTE: Marriage to a US
Citizen or legal permanent resident or birth of a child in the US does
not remove this requierement."
What do you think?

Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 25 Jan 2005 16:42 PST
My appologies.. I will ask Google Answers to remove the answer if you
like (so that you are not charged), but, I was wrong.

The type of visa you have, a J1 visa, is apparently a very different
visa than I have experienced before. Typically, what I wrote is
correct. You can go out of status, etc.. with no issues if you marry a
citizen. However, in this one special case, you need to obtain a
waiver of J1 requirements before they will adjust your status to any
other status.

So, you do need to obtain the waiver it seems. 

There's a very good page on the J1 visa and marriage which can be found here:

One thing you may wish to consider is to try and file for hardship of
the US Citizen spouse. In other words, there is extreme hardship that
would be endured by the US Citizen by you leaving (they don't really
care about YOUR hardship).

Again, I am sorry about the mistake. As I said, I can ask the editors
to remove this answer if you are unhappy with it as it was originally
wrong. However, for 99% of the visa holders, it is completely accurate
information. This was entirely my fault and mistake for not more
throughly investigating the J1 visa prior to answering.

If the company you are working for refuses to give you a letter of
support to try and get the waiver, as I said, your best bet in my
opinion is to try the extreme hardship option. The page above includes
more grounds under which you can try to get a waiver.

Please post a request for clarification if you wish for me to contact
the editors and remove the answer and have you credited back the money
from the wrong answer.


Request for Answer Clarification by myn1119-ga on 26 Jan 2005 09:20 PST
You did great!! You don't need to ask the editors to remove the answer
at all, I believe your information was excellent and it clarified my
doubts. Thanks a lot for your time and help!!!
Best regards

Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 26 Jan 2005 09:57 PST
Thanks so much.. You may wish to consider having a baby quickly--that
would pretty much nail that whole 'hardship' issue.. :-)  But, I'd
recommend a lawyer for that one though.

Incidently, not all J1 visa's have the 2 years in your home country
requirement.. If it were me, I'd call the embassy and see what they
think of the hardship waiver. Remember, it's not YOUR hardship--it's
your *spouses* hardship that they care about..

You may also want to check out a really great website that may help
you even more.. It's called, and brings in many
usenet groups specifically on marriage based visas and immgration.
Probably the best link I can give you for it is:

That takes you directly to the US Marriage Based Immigration forum.
There is a lawyer that hangs around on there too that offers free
advice. One word of caution though, don't actually address the lawyer
directly. He wont answer. Just post your question and if it's
something he can help with, he'll offer his opinion.

Thanks again for the five stars.


Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 26 Jan 2005 10:01 PST
I also found one thread on the website I posted in the previous post
that seems to have some very good information for you:

Take a look at that one, there are some good ideas, and some other
options you may wish to pursue.

myn1119-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: J1 Visa holder marrying and american citizen
From: asdfg5-ga on 01 Mar 2005 16:18 PST
Dear myn1119-ga,   I was, and kind of still am, in your situation. I
also found Mr/Mrs legolas-ga ' s answer great.
As far as your employer .... and your no-objection letter:
- my country also required a lot of documents for issuing the
no-objection letter, one of which was a letter from my US employer
stating that I was emplyed with them, some info on salary, date of
employment etc.. If this is the kind of info your consulate/embassy
requires to issue you the N.O. letter, than the US company, your
1. FIRST of all ... does not need to know WHY you need this letter
(you can say it's for ... anything you want);
2. there is no legal reason why they should NOT give you a letter that
ultimatelly is saying you are legally working with them.

In that letter, they are not supporting your immigration status, they
are merely attesting to your current employment - I will go further
and say ... they do not have the legal right to refuse you such a
letter (since you already have a lawyer, he/she might confirm this).

Please let me know if you have more questions.
Subject: Re: J1 Visa holder marrying and american citizen
From: myn1119-ga on 01 Mar 2005 19:51 PST
Hi asdfg5-ga!
Thanks a lot for writing! embassy requieres a letter for my company in which they have
to say that I do not have any federal funds from my country or the USA
and also has to say that they do not object me staying in this
country. I have tried anyhthing!!! you have no idea, but there is no
way they'll do the NO letter without the letter from the company. The
people form my company do not want any of us staying
business!!! so I do not know what to do. We thought about applying
through hardship but it is very hard to win a case. So...we are
getting married this month...regardless and we'll see what happens!!!
Thanks a lot!!!
Subject: Re: J1 Visa holder marrying and american citizen
From: j1help-ga on 10 Mar 2005 15:28 PST
J1 WAIVER JOBS - opportunities available for J1, HIB holder physicians
seeking work in underserved areas USA.
Check out their web page
Subject: Re: J1 Visa holder marrying and american citizen
From: christinandlj-ga on 11 Aug 2005 12:33 PDT
Just a small note that on a J-1 visas, the waiver only applies to
those who are sponsored by a government agency or recieve government
funds. Those that are in the US on a J-1 visas, bought and paid
through a private company are not subject to the 2 yr rule.
Subject: Re: J1 Visa holder marrying and american citizen
From: myn1119-ga on 10 Sep 2005 19:32 PDT
I hope you read this message as I do not know how to contact you...I
just wanted you to know that my visa situation was fixed about three
months ago, I got my waiver and now I'm waiting for my work permit
(that should not take long).
Just wanted to thank you again for your advice.

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