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Immigration Issues/appeal J1 termination by university

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QUESTION: My husband and I are both J1 postdocs at the same university. He had funding for next year but had to renew his J1. They waited until the last day to renew it, and it came up that his passport was expired. The university didn't give him any time to renew it and terminated his program the next day. We have the 2-year requirement to go back to our country. Is there anything we can do? We read that applying for renewal after the expiration date is a 'minor fault' (so he could have renewed the passport and ask for the renewal a week later), but the university doesn't let us do it because they terminated the program for him. Can we appeal the decision to terminate him and then ask for a reinstatement? We are within the 30 day grace period. Thank you for your help!

ANSWER: Hi,

Your husband is dependent upon the J1 sponsor. There is no option but to depart the U.S. within the 30-day grace period after termination of the program.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: He does have a sponsor. His previous boss has the funds to hire him for another year. Moreover, when we arrived we were told that if our contract ended for any reason we had one month to find another sponsor in an institution with a J1 program. Thank you for your time.

Answer
Your husband will complete Form I-539 and file with the USCIS with the support of his former sponsor with newly completed DS-2019. However, it can take several months for a decision from the USCIS re. reinstatement of J1 status, and if the decision is negative, it will create problems with future visa applications at a U.S. Consulate. Thus, it is still recommended to depart the U.S. within 30 days of termination of J1 program.

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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