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silversheltie

USA - Going on exchange on a J-1 Visa, how to stay more than 30 days after end

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I am an Australian applying for a J-1 visa to go on exchange at a Uni in the US for the spring semester of 2019. This visa allows me to stay for 30 days after the program ends on the 10th of May, but I would like to go to a big bluegrass music festival takes place just outside the 30 day limit.

I have found 2 possibilities so far:

 

1. Apply for J-1, leave for Canada within the 30 days and attempt to reenter with the Visa Waiver Program, see post: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/permalink/post/22902445

 

2. Apply for J-1 and B-2 visa at the same time before going to US. Would transferring to the B-2 require leaving the US (going to Canada) after my exchange ends? 

 

As this will be a once in a lifetime experience, I would really like to make this happen. What options are there to stay for longer? I have not applied for the J-1 visa yet as I am seeking advice on this matter.

Thank you.

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Do you have ESTA?

 

Btw, going to Canada and Mexico doesn't reset your stay clock. It is a loophole that got closed many many years ago.


“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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No, I haven't applied for ESTA yet. Is it possible to apply for a J-1 and B-2 in Australia, then somehow transfer to the B-2 (or use the VWP) before the J-1 30 day grace period ends? I may be mistaken, but I recall reading that to change my visa status I would have to leave the US, which is why I mentioned Canada.

Edited by silversheltie

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You may have to revisit this plan. People from Australia have the privilege of obtaining an ESTA. That allows them to be in the US without even applying for a visa for up to 90 days. If you go on the J1 and it is completed, what is wrong with returning to AUS for a few weeks until the festival? Like I said, Canada (and Mexico) does not reset the clock, so going to these countries does not technically mean you left. Many people in the world can't even get a US visitor visa but you have the privilege to come without one.

 

Also, it is true that you have to obtain visas in your own country of residence. Visas are for entering the US. Embassies (in each country) issue visas. Visas are not issued inside the US.

 

There are other ways to change status from a J1. But it involves either you getting married to a US citizen, getting accepted to a school, or having a company hire you. The problem is each one of those take time and resources.

 

Seems the easiest plan is to get your ESTA, go through your J1, go home then return for the festival using the ESTA.

Edited by NuestraUnion

“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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Your plan would definitely work. However, if I can stay in the US between ending my exchange and going to the festival (just outside the 30 days) then I would avoid buying another set of return plane tickets, saving me a huge amount of money.

 

It's not something I can realistically consider, which is why I am exploring other options, like applying for the J-1 and re-entering through Canada with the VWP which will give me an extra 90 days. Has anyone had experience with this?

Edited by silversheltie

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41 minutes ago, silversheltie said:

Your plan would definitely work. However, if I can stay in the US between ending my exchange and going to the festival (just outside the 30 days) then I would avoid buying another set of return plane tickets, saving me a huge amount of money.

 

It's not something I can realistically consider, which is why I am exploring other options, like applying for the J-1 and re-entering through Canada with the VWP which will give me an extra 90 days. Has anyone had experience with this?

For the third time. Going to Canada does NOT give you a new set of 90 days.

 

For example, if you stay in the US for 88 days, then go to Canada on the 89th day and stay for 3 days, you will not be let back in the US. Because US immigration count days spent in Canada and Mexico against your visit.

 

Yes, I know about the cost of tickets. We on here all do. Many of us have to take cost into consideration while going through this immigration journey. It is a sacrifice you have to decide to make.

 

If you overstay a visa, you will lose it and it will be difficult for you to obtain another nonimmigrant visa in the future.  So, theoretically, you can make this a one time thing if you don't plan on returning to the US anytime soon afterwards.

 

ETA: I just wanted to add... when dealing with immigration, huge sacrifices have to be made. Many people made the sacrifice of leaving family and lives behind, many have to sacrifice being separated from their love for many months.

 

You have a choice to make. You can either...

  • Pay the cost to go back home and return for the festival (lose out on saving money)
  • Not go to the festival (lose out on going to the festival)
  • Overstay your visit (lose out of being able to visit in the future)
Edited by NuestraUnion

“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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As I am not entering the US with a VWP but with a J-1 visa,  I am asking if I can use the VWP for the first time when reentering the US from Canada to get an extra 90 days.

 

I know that if I did enter the US with a VWP that I would not be able to renew it and get an extra 90 days by going to Canada, but that is not what I am planning to do.

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I don't know what school you are entering the program for. But here is Iowa State's info for J1 students. See the circled and highlighted areas below.

 

https://www.isso.iastate.edu/info/j-1-scholar-status-information/j-1-travel-outside-us-and-re-entry-0

 

image.thumb.png.0f90c76e67aa1a6d2558e6659447dc7e.png

 

As you can see, it does not work. Look, it sucks big time, I know, but your plan will not work.

Edited by NuestraUnion

“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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Yet again, Canada does not reset anything regarding visa stay. You can go a bit further than Canada or Mexico (like costa rica, or take a cheapie flight to iceland, etc) and return using VWP. You may be questioned on re-entry given it will probably be quite obvious you’ve just left to re-enter on a new i94.

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You can definitely leave, go to Canada, and re-enter under ESTA. It doesn't reset your clock if you were on ESTA before and left to return under ESTA, but you are switching visa categories, so you can definitely do it (I've done it myself). They will take your most recent long stay under consideration when deciding whether to admit you, though.

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Thanks Mollie

9 minutes ago, Mollie09 said:

You can definitely leave, go to Canada, and re-enter under ESTA. It doesn't reset your clock if you were on ESTA before and left to return under ESTA, but you are switching visa categories, so you can definitely do it (I've done it myself). They will take your most recent long stay under consideration when deciding whether to admit you, though.

Thanks Mollie, that's great news! Basically, I can't stay in the US if I want to see more of it? Seems silly to not be able to change in the country but that's US immigration for you.

Edited by silversheltie

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You can apply to adjust status to a B, now if you have no plans of coming back anytime soon an option.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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16 minutes ago, Mollie09 said:

You can definitely leave, go to Canada, and re-enter under ESTA. It doesn't reset your clock if you were on ESTA before and left to return under ESTA, but you are switching visa categories, so you can definitely do it (I've done it myself). They will take your most recent long stay under consideration when deciding whether to admit you, though.

 

Please  clarify how you changed your status. The poster has a 30 day leave commitment under his/her J1 program that may not be covered under going to Canada/Mexico. I posted an example above. It may be different than you situation.

 

Also, visas are issued outside the US.

 

7 minutes ago, silversheltie said:

Thanks Mollie

Thanks Mollie, that's great news! Basically, I can't stay in the US if I want to see more of it? Seems silly to not be able to change in the country but that's US immigration for you.

In my first post I told you how you can change your status (marriage, student, or work). But that is not what you are trying to do. You want to remain in the US and change the J1 to a B2/ESTA.


“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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26 minutes ago, silversheltie said:

Thanks Mollie

Thanks Mollie, that's great news! Basically, I can't stay in the US if I want to see more of it? Seems silly to not be able to change in the country but that's US immigration for you.

You can certainly apply to change status within the US (form i539), but with everyone trying to game the system by doing this, it currently takes about 5 months to process. If you are denied at the end of it and you didn’t leave at the end of the original authorized stay, you count as having been in overstay as of that time. This pretty much kiboshes your chances of gettIng an ESTA /using VWP anytime soon again and means you will have to apply for future B visas in your country of passport only. Up to you to decide if a music festival is worth it.

if it were me, I’d leave for a nice trip of a few weeks doing some ecotourism in Costa Rica or Galapagos or something then renter for the festival on ESTA.

 

you also need to be careful about choosing the unsubstantiated advice you want to hear on the internet from someone in a different visa situation , vs someone who has actually posted what universities who deal in your visa type say on their websites.

Edited by SusieQQQ

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Can the programme be extended a few days?

 

Going to be expensive festival.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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