Immigration Issues/Fulbright J1 visa 2 year HRR
I am on a Fulbright J-1 visa as a cancer biology Ph.D. student in America. I
would like to become exempt from the 2 year home residency requirement or
satisfy the cumulative requirement over several decades. Ideally, after
receiving my degree in the next couple of years, I would like to stay in America
for post-doctoral research (because of funding opportunities, which don't exist
in my home country). It is not my intent to be relieved of my commitment to the
Fulbright program, but I believe that I can give the most back to my home
country by going back to lecture throughout my lifetime. As you know, my desire
is complicated by a number of visa issues:
As I understand it, I cannot obtain an H1 visa as a J1 holder. If I switch to a
F1 now, will I become eligible for a H1 following my graduation?
If I do gain an H1 visa via this route, will I be able to travel back to my
country to cumulatively fulfill my two-year HRR as a H1 visa holder?
If these options won't work, do I have a decent chance of getting an exemption
under the condition that I will give back to my country as my career in science
Do you see any other way that I can fulfill (or become exempted from) my
Fulbright HRR requirement without abandoning my dreams?
I appreciate your time and look forward to learning from your expertise.
Depending on your credentials, you may be eligible to apply for an O visa to continue working in the US. You may have to leave to country briefly (maybe to Mexico or Canada) and reenter on an O visa once it has been approved.
As for your J1 waiver, it would be difficult but you could do so once your O is approved.