Immigration Issues/J1 vs H1B


Hi, I am a croatian citizen and graduated from college and graduate school in the US, I am currently on OPT (so still on F1 visa). I was offered a job at a research institution and they said they would file the paperwork for my J1 visa (I would have to go home and get it). I wanted to know what the difference was between J1 and H1B when it comes to work? What are some pros and cons of getting J1 visa as opposed to H1B? (besides the fact that they dont have to pay for J1 and would have to pay for H1B). Thanks so much

Basically there are two big differences between and H1B and a J1.  

Most J1's have a residency requirement that mandates the J1 holder to return to his/her country upon the completion of the J1 term.  Many people are upset by this requirement as  they often wish to remain in the US and not go back to their home country.  Waivers are possible but sometimes difficult to get.  Thus, if you are considering accepting a J1 position, I would recommend that you find out if your J1 program has a residency requirement.  In contrast an H1B is a dual intent visa with no residency requirments.  Thus an individual can hold an H1 position and also pursue permanent residency at the same time.

The second difference is that an H1B holder must be paid in accordance with the wage rate that it pays to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications, or they must pay the prevailing wage level for the occupation in the ďarea of intended employment.  There is no such requirement to pay a minimum amount for a J1 program.  

This forum is too limited to give you all the nuances.  I suggest that you pay for an consultation with an immigration attorney if you want a detailed description.

Good Luck
Mark Ashley

Immigration Issues

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Mark Ashley


Business Immigration. My practice focuses on representing researchers, scholars, and other advanced degree professionals with filing NIW, EB-1,O-1, H-1, L-1 petitions. I am a founding partner in the immigration law firm Ashley & Krishnan,


18 years as a practicing attorney.

Member of AILA

JD from St. Mary's University, Texas.

Awards and Honors
American Jurisprudence Award recipient

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