Self help packets

Recent Posts

Can I apply my own? What green card application options does a postdoc have? USCIS delays rule changing list of documents acceptable to verify employment eligibility

Yearly Archives

Can my wife (J2 holder) get Green card if I get a Green card while on J1?

Published Apr 18,2013 By GCforPhD

Question:

I am a postdoc in US with J1 visa without 2 years residency requirement. My wife is in J2 and also without residency requirement. My question is if I am able to get my Green card through EB1A, can she also get a green card as well?

Additionally, when I am applying for EB1A, will I be in J1 status and my wife is in J2?

Answer:

The usual procedure is that the primary applicant (you) applies for I-140 and the derivative (your wife and children) and primary apply for I-485. Both of you would get green cards after I-485 is approved. At first, when you apply for I-140 alone, both your status remains unchanged. When you apply for I-485 the status is “pending adjustment of status”. This status is convenient and both of you can get EADs for work and AP for travel abroad. You can apply for I-485 at the same time as I-140 (depending on priority dates) or after I-140 approval.

You can find answers to common questions in a free PDF book on our website at greencardforphd.com

Posted in J1
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
56 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nit Chauhan
Nit Chauhan
10 years ago

Dear Green card for Phd Team,

I am a adv.Master in engineering from UK + 10 years Exp presently i’m in US with J1 visa without 2 years residency requirement. My question is if I am able to get my Green card through EB2 or self petition ?

Additionally, when I am applying for this ,is there change in J1 status?

admin
admin
10 years ago
Reply to  Nit Chauhan

Hi

USCIS has two self-petitioning categories EB1a and EB2-NIW. Please see the criteria for these categories and check if you can meet 3 or more criteria. If yes you can petition in one of these categories.

During the application process your visa status does not change. During the i-485 application, you request for a change of status from J1 to permanent resident.

Since J1 is for workers with no immigration intent, once you apply for green card (which express immigration intent), it may be harder for you to extend the J1 visa if necessary. If you don’t think this is a problem, you can apply while on J1.

Best of luck.

Peter
Peter
10 years ago

Hello! Great site ! I just want to ask one question before getting started with the self-petition.
My wife is working as a postdoc fellow in Northwestern University since June 2012. She has J-1 and I’m J-2. We want to fill self-petition as NIW for her. She has one publication as a postdoc and several publications from her Master and PhD. She was a judge in the poster session and had won several prizes , but not in US. Her current supervisor said to her that she has no case to fill I-140 form. We wanted to hear your opinion. Do we have any chance to get i-140 approved in our case?
Does it matter from what period of her study she will bring the evidences?

admin
admin
10 years ago
Reply to  Peter

Hi Peter

Usually NIW is relatively easier than EB1a. From your description she satisfies 2 of EB2 criteria. Probably she satisfies more if you made a list of all her achievements. We suggest you look at USCIS NIW requirements and some example petitions to make a better decision. For NIW she would need to satisfy 3 criteria and in addition show that a) her work has national in scope b) important to US national interest and c) benefit derived from her application outweighs not needed labor certification. With careful preparation, these criteria are not usually hard for most post-docs. Hope this helps.

Best of luck

Deepak
Deepak
10 years ago

hello,

i recently joined as a postdoc at NIH( Postdoc visisting fellow) on J1 visa. My question is whether I can apply for for green card under this J1 status? If so whether there will be problem with my current work as federal empoly? If there will be problem then how can a avoid this and can apply? I heard that there will be problem for my position if i apply now for greeen card so could you explain clearly???

admin
admin
10 years ago
Reply to  Deepak

Hi Deepak

You can certainly apply on your own. However you would need to get a J1 visa wavier if your country or visa has a 2 year residency rule. Once you have a wavier you can apply on you own. Being a NIH postdoc is not a problem in fact it would work in your advantage (national interest).

Hope this helps.

Best of luck
GC for phd

Atanu
Atanu
10 years ago

Hi All,
A quick question regarding my present situation. I did apply for EB1A (green card) about 3.5 months ago which is currently under review. Now I’ve been working as a Post Doc and my extended OPT is ending on 14th January. So, I wanted to apply for J1 in the mean time but our university international center is advising us that if I submit it now, then J1 would be denied because that’s a non-immigration visa. But my understanding is that J1 takes about suppose 2 months to process and by then I probably will get the green card application outcome. So if green card is approved everything would be fine, and if not, then I’ll still have the J1 pending. That way I would decrease the work authorization time lag.
Please let me know your opinion. My boss agrees with the international center and is saying that we should wait until green card result is given.
But to me, that’s uncertain and we should proceed with J1, especially when I know I can’t work beyond 14th January. So my question is whether or not there is any risk of submitting paperwork for J1 while my EB1A is pending. Please advise.
Thanks for your time!

admin
admin
10 years ago
Reply to  Atanu

Hi

By applying for a green card, you have expressed an intent to immigrate. This would be in the records of USCIS. When you apply for J1, they may notice this and deny the J1. The denial can occur irrespective of green card outcome, because your intent conflicts with J1 visa holder intent. So J1 is not a good option.

We suggest you should ask your university to sponsor you a H1b visa.

Best of luck
GC for phd team

Abdulraouf
Abdulraouf
10 years ago

Dear Green card for Phd Team,

I’m a postdoc with J1 visa without 2 years, I hold a Syrian nationality, My J1 visa is expired two months ago, and my DS 1920 got renewed until December 31 2014. My question is If I can change my visa from J1 to H1 without leaving United States, because I can’t go back home, what would be the best solution in my case? Thank you very much

admin
admin
10 years ago
Reply to  Abdulraouf

Hi

You can change your legal status from J1 to H1 without traveling back home. You need a sponsor for your H1B visa (non-profit organizations like university or a for-profit company). If you want visa stamping (H1B) in your passport you would travel to your home country (after H1B status is approved).

Best wishes

THIYAGU
THIYAGU
9 years ago

Hi,

I’m in J-1 visa working as postdoctoral research associate (with two year residency rule) residing in USA for last three years. Recently got two year waiver documents from home country (Didn’t apply to department of state to get the waiver). My wife in J-2 visa with valid EAD card (exp feb 2015). Recently she got job in USA and started working.

I have extended my J-1 until 2017 (total five years) and got DS-2019 valid until 2017.

I have several publications and number of citations with International research award which is hard to get.

I discussed with the lawyer (free consulation) and he suggested that I’m qualified to apply for E1Ba (extraordinary abilities) category.

I want to get the green card directly (with J-1 visa) without affecting my wife’s EAD card.

What is the best way to apply. Do I need to skip to H1B or can apply from J-1 itself (I don’t like to get H1B because my wife status will become new (H4 visa) and she can’t work.

If I apply to green card from J1 what will happen to my wife’s working status.

she is having EAD card upto feb 2015. If I started filing I-140 and I-485 together right now (april) howlong it will take to get the green card. My only concern is to hold my wife’s EAD card valid until the end.

Expecting your esteemed suggestions at the earliest.

Thanks

THIYAGU

khalid
khalid
9 years ago

Hello sir my name is khalid
I have a indian passport
I’m on j2 visa which is valid for 2years
I have just turned 18 on dec26
I’m in a high school in america
My question is that. I want to apply for green card
On my j2 visa
Can u tell me what steps must I follow.
And how much time does it take to get the gree card
And what is requried

Amulek
Amulek
8 years ago

Hello, my wife is on J2 visa with EAD working as embryologist currently and I am on J1 studying in university, our visa will expired in 2017. we are not subject to two years residency requirement. My question is which way is best or faster way for us to receive a eligible status to work after 2016 where my school end. Does she apply H1 from J2, or apply N.I.W better? Prior to her employment in US, my wife had more than 7 years experience as embryologist and some research improvement on lung cancer field. If she is going to file N.I.W and meet 3 of criteria requirements, is it possible that the verification documents are from foreign country instead of US.

Maggie
Maggie
8 years ago

Hi,
I was browsing the web for a while and cannot find the answer for this particular question. My husband and I are both biomedical scientists (Europe) and decided to apply for EB-2 NIW. We are finalizing our application package. My appointment with university ends sooner than my husband (he is in the process of extending his J1, not subject to 212e, until October 2016), so we decide to go with him as a primary and have me switch to J2 and apply for EAD. We want to file I140 as soon as I enter US on J2. Question: will filing I140 by him, affect my ability to get EAD as a J2. If we file both within a week, would my J2 EAD request get denied because our J status is not nice and clean anymore (aka. Immigration intent) .
Thank you!
Maggie

valeria
valeria
8 years ago

Congratulation for the website, it’s really helpful.
My husband has a J1 and he will apply for the GC as a private petitioner. I’m a J2 and I’m working with my EAD.
I’m wondering what happens to my visa and EAD after my husband will apply for the I-485. I understand that my status will be “pending adjustment of status”. Can I go out from USA in the period between the I-485 application and the GC approval? What happens if the GC is rejected..we will mantain our J1 and J2?
Thank you in advance.

Valeria

dm
dm
8 years ago

Hello,

My wife is a J1 holder with baby born here in US and I am J2 holder, both of us without 2 years residency requirement. We extend J status every year, but our J visas are expired couple years ago.
I have started GC process and my employer filed PERM application back in March 2015. If I go out of US for business purposes, will I be able to get a new J2 visa into my passport in another country? Seems like I will not be able to get a new visa because I exposed my immigration intent with PERM application. Please confirm.

Thank you!

Maria Soriano
Maria Soriano
8 years ago

Hi, my husband is a J2 visa , i am petitioning him now through family base , I am a US Citizen, does he need to fulfill the two year rule ? Even if I am petioning him already?

Hanin
Hanin
7 years ago

Hello,
My husband is a J2 visa ,I am j1 that will expire in 2017.i will apply for h1b so he will be H4.so his work may sponsor his H1b ,
My question will his h1b application affect his chances to get EAD this year while he is on j2 status ?thank you

Sherif Ahmed
Sherif Ahmed
7 years ago

I’m currently postdoc research scientist on j-1, 3 years of being in US and planning to apply for a green card very soon. My fiance is a Syrian/French girl that is currently living in Cairo/Egypt. we are expecting to marry at any point very soon. but before we do that, I want to ensure that she has a chance to come here after marriage. I heard (not sure though) that applying for a green card may make it difficult for her to apply for visa to come here? I I’m wondering about what path we should follow in order to bring her here or get her US visa and at what point we can start the green card application?

Sherif Ahmed
Sherif Ahmed
7 years ago
Reply to  GCforPhD

So You think that we should marry, get her the J-2 spouse visa, come here to US then I include her in my green card application? Does she have to be in US while my green card application in process or I can include her in my application while she is abroad? do you think J-2 visa will take long time to be issued or its fast ? Im now between marrying and applying her J-2 then green card or marrying and including her in my green card application straightaway without the J-2 step ? Im a bit confused with this one.

GCforPostdocMarried
GCforPostdocMarried
7 years ago

I am a postdoc on J-1 visa (valid until Oct 2016) and my fiance, also a postdoc but with F1 OPT, has his NIW I140 approved. I am not subject to 2-year home residency requirement. My question is that if we get married, can we both apply for adjustment of status? He has not applied yet. Can I stay on J-1 visa until it gets approved?

Thanks.

Vinay
Vinay
6 years ago

Hi,
My wife got approval of I140. I am in Finland and want to shift with my wife in US. My wife has J1 visa and I am on J2 visa.
1. Can I apply for EAD from J2 visa and my wife apply for I485 concurrently?
2. If my wife apply for I485 and we both apply for EAD from I485. Is it possible if I am residing to US ? Is it also like if I stay with her for at least 60 days then I will not consider as residing US.
Please reply.

Thanks
Vinay

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  Vinay

Hi Vinay,

The easiest scenario is the following: you enter the U.S. on J2, wait for at least 60 days and file I-485+EAD together with your wife (each of you has to file an individual I-485). The 60 days waiting is related to the possible misrepresentation of your intent while entering U.S. on nonimmigrant visa, see source by the link.

Answering your second question, you must be in the U.S. to file I-485+EAD. There is no such thing as number of days after which you are not staying in the country if you are actually being physically present.

Sumanta Dey
Sumanta Dey
6 years ago

Hi,
I am on a J1 VISA and I am planning to initiate the waiver process here in USA. I have collected all the required documents and now I need to file DS3035. My wife is on J2 and she applied for her EAD renewal. Her case is pending. If I file DS3035, will her EAD application be affected? Do I need to wait until she receives her new EAD?

Thanks for your attention.

Sumanta

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  Sumanta Dey

To my knowledge, DS3035 has no effect on the spouse’s EAD. By filing DS3035 you ask for the waiver of the 2 year home residence requirement for yourself and your wife, not for the status change.

dr k
dr k
6 years ago

hello,
I have a j1 visa working as a university post doc in usa. My wife worked in usa with h1b visa last year but went to home country india to change her h1b to j2 as her term ended. Now she applied for a j2 visa though the case is still pending under administrative decession. In this meantime can I apply for green card or need to wait until she got the news for j2 visa. need kind help. my term is upto next year 2018 in j1 visa and I am excemted from home country requirement.

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  dr k

You can file I-140 and this should not affect your wife’s J-2, because you are filing it only on your behalf. If it is approved and your priority date is current, then it is better to wait until your wife enters the U.S. and stays here for at least 60 days, and only then you should file I-485 (adjustment of status) for both of you. The reason for waiting while being in the country is to minimize the suspicion about the misrepresentation in front of the border officer (because your wife will declare the nonimmigrant intent by entering the U.S. with J2 visa).

Anshs
Anshs
6 years ago

I am a postdoc in J2 visa with EAD. If my husband gets J1 waiver, can we both apply for separate H1B visas? Is it the right way for me to not go in H4 (we do not wish to apply for green card). Do we need to find sponsoring institutes before our J visas expire?

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  Anshs

Hi Anshika,

Yes, if you plan to continue working and your husband does not wish to apply for then green card, then you will need a separate H1B. H4 will not allow you to work. You will need to find sponsoring institutes and change your status before the J visas expire.

Glauce Lourenco
Glauce Lourenco
5 years ago

Hi. My husband is doing his PHD at Yale with a J1 waiver visa status. I’m working with my J2 visa and EAD. We’re from Brazil which obeys us to renew our visas every year. I would like to know if we apply for GC this can bring any problem to his PHD if the GC is not approved. What is the best time to start the process to ask the GC without risk to loose the J1 visa and his PHD scholarship?
Besides that, I have 5 yrs of experience in the area that I’m working (I have a Master degree) and my Husband has 3 yrs of experience at the area that he doind his PHD. Is there any chance to obrain the EB1A?

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago

EB1A is currently extremely difficult to obtain. Besides that, the priority dates are being retrograded, meaning that you currently cannot file for I-485 even if I-140 is approved. So, EB2-NIW might be a better route, depending on your circumstances, of course. Once you file I-140, you may not be able to extend J1. Extending DS2019 without extending J1 stamp in the passport while I-140 is pending/approved/denied is a gray area. Even though it creates a conflict of intents, it seems that universities have no problem issuing new DS2019 in this case (please consult with the university international office). It is difficult to say anything about the correct timing, because the processing times fluctuate at the moment.
Chances of obtaining EB1A depend on many details, it is hard to tell from the years of experience only.

Laura C
Laura C
4 years ago

Hi,
I will be filing for I140 next month for my NIW-EB2 green card. As I am aware I cannot travel anymore, what about my husband? I have a J1 visa and he has a J2 dependent visa. He will need to leave the country after I filed for I140, and we were wondering if it would be a problem when we file for I485. We were told that as long as he has an intent to immigrate as of today, he shouldn’t travel abroad. But since I am filling I140 only for myself, does it matter? Also his name is figuring on my I140.
Thank you

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
4 years ago
Reply to  Laura C

If you file I-140, this does not affect your husband, since this shows your intent to immigrate, but not your husband’s. However, if he files I-485, then he would need to get advance parole (or a dual intent visa) to reenter the country. Additionally, if he reenters U.S. on J2, he would need to wait 3 months before filing I-485 to avoid conflict of intents (and misrepresentation in front of the border officer).

> Also his name is figuring on my I140.
What does this mean?

Please keep in mind that this does not constitute a legal advice and is provided for the information purposes only. Please consult a qualified attorney on the legal matters.

Laura C
Laura C
4 years ago
Reply to  BlogSupport

Thank you for your reply.
His name is figuring on my I140 in section part 7.1 “information about the spouse and all children of the person for whom you are filling”; part 7.5 ” Is he applying for adjustment of status?” answer is yes.
So it is already stated that the will file for I485, hence my confusion wether he can travel or not.
thank you!

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
4 years ago
Reply to  Laura C

If he is filing I-485, then he should not reenter the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and should apply for the advance parole or obtain a dual intent visa (such as H1B)

Pratap Reddy
Pratap Reddy
2 years ago

Hello,

My name is Pratap Reddy, currently working for a Biotech company in South Korea. I have done my PhD In India in 2015.  Soon my wife is moving to the USA with a J-1 visa to do a postdoc. I am planning to come to the USA on a J-2 visa & work for the company (after getting EAD). Can I start the green card process from my side with a J-2 visa without affecting my wife visa J-1?

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
2 years ago
Reply to  Pratap Reddy

Yes, if you file green card paperwork, you may demonstrate an immigrant intent, but it should not affect your wife.

Rachna
Rachna
2 years ago

Hi, 18 years ago I came to the US on a J2 visa. My then husband applied for a home country requirement waiver which we received and also received our H1 and H4. A year after we divorced and I went back to India for a year and came back on F1. I remarried and we left for Canada where we spent 12 years. Now we are back and my husband and my twin boys have received their GC but for me the USCIS requires my home country waiver approval notice from 17 years ago which I don’t have(my ex had it) although I do have my H4 approval notice from the past. Doesn’t that notice point towards the fact that H4 cannot be issued without a waiver. Can USCIS grant me a GC on the basis of this evidence?

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
2 years ago
Reply to  Rachna

Hi Rachna,

As this is a very particular case, we would like to recommend getting in touch with an immigration lawyer and discussing with them your situation.

Priti
Priti
1 year ago

Hello everyone,
My husband is J1 visa holder with NIH, and I have J2 visa and I have applied for EAD. Recently he has completed 1 year. I feel I have strong case for filling for EB1 as I have more than 400 citations and 17 publication but my status is J2 . What would be possible suggestions to get green cards and what other measures should we think so that we are not stuck in middle.

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
1 year ago
Reply to  Priti

You may consider both EB1A an EB2-NIW, especially if you think you qualify for either of them. What are exactly the points of your concern?

Don
Don
1 year ago

Hi everyone,
I’m a J2 holder with my wife as J1 PhD student with 2 years residency. we’ve been living in US since 2019 and will finish and go home on mid 2024.
My visa will be expired Aug 2023 and we will not renew until we go home mid 2024 (legal status using DS document renewed annually)
The DV 2024 US visa issuance is Sept 2024 which by that time we will already be in our home country and not holding any US visa.
Is it possible if I apply for DV 2024 (open october 5th 2022) and what would be the potential problem for my application.

thank you so much.

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
1 year ago
Reply to  Don

DV visa application should not affect your current status or status of your future visa applications until you actually win the lottery.

Mark
Mark
6 months ago

Hello, I am under J1 not subject to two year rule and applied for EB2 NIW (self petition). If this gets approved, can my J2 and I apply for green card at the same time?
Do we also need to apply for another SSN in filling out the GC application? Since my ssn says valid for work only with DHS authorization.

How long would it take for this self petition and for applying for GC?
Do we need to wait for the visa bulletin to be current or can we apply GC right away when the I-140 gets approved? Thanks!

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

If your I-140 is approved and your priority date is current, you and your spouse can file I-485 at the same time.

You do not need to apply for another SSN. Just ask for a new social security card (with the same SSN) once you receive the green card.

Time for the processing depends on many factors, including election of premium processing. You can file for adjustment of status (Form I-485) only when your priority date (from the visa bulletin) becomes current.

Self help packets

Recent Posts

Rsearcher

Recent Posts

Associate Research Scientist

Recent Posts

PhD

Recent Posts

Can I have an ead with eb2 niw approved?

Archives