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CASE OF SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER FROM J1 TO H1 VISA(2 year residency requirement)

CASE OF SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER FROM J1 TO H1 VISA(2 year residency requirement)

Old Aug 22nd 2003, 2:48 pm
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Default CASE OF SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER FROM J1 TO H1 VISA(2 year residency requirement)

This is for all those individuals who have come under J1 visa category and are not come for medical profession and are from India.

I had gone through a lot during my transfer from J1 visa to H1 B. My fiancée and I must have gone through every inch of the Internet for any information available on this subject. By God’s grace everything went well with lots of people’s information, lots of unknown people advising us.

That’s why the moment my case got over I decided I would put it across in the forum where I had myself searched for the information. I hope it will be prove helpful for all those people in my situation.

Individuals who come under J1 Visa for a period of 18 months and who are subject to the 2-year residency requirement should do the following if they are keen on staying for longer. Be ready with all your official documents. Be ready to do a lot of application documentations. Whatever you do make a copy so you have a record too.
1) Getting a waiver took me almost 8-9 months. I had a near VISA expiry experience. So I would rather advice people who want to get a waiver to start the process within 2 months of their coming to USA.
2) The first process was getting a waiver from our Government on the basis of “NO OBJECTION� which is the most acceptable option for getting the waiver from our Government, which is what I had opted for. The Indian Consulate is very helpful. So when in doubt call them, they provide prompt service, I am very much impressed with the Indian Consulate in San Francisco as they were the ones who provided all the necessary information to make the initial documentation to be easy.
http://www.indianconsulate-sf.org/
Go to the forms section to download the forms for the “Waiver Certificate/No Obligation to Return to India Certificate� You should download the nori.pdf
You should follow the instructions mentioned in it to the “T�

3) I made a folly of submitting all my no objection details to the Indian Consulate before getting a case number from the US officials, after I completed the STAGE II, which took some needless time. The Stage III mentions clearly of getting a CASE number from the US IMMIGRATION so avoid doing the same mistake I did.
http://www.travel.state.gov/waiver_instructions.html This site takes care of the Step 3. Download the form for getting a case number from the below mentioned place. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/9768.pdf
To make the process simple provide all the details mentioned in their instruction sheets without missing anything. The instructions are quite clear. Call the Indian Consulate when in doubt of something they are very helpful.

4) After a month or so I got my case number from the US Department of State, I then sent my case number with other necessary details to our Indian Consulate. The Indian consulate did a speedy process; I got cleared in 2-3 days and my Waiver from our Government got cleared. At this stage I had nothing to do, as the Consulate forwarded all my submitted documents directly to the US Department of State.
5) The US Department of State was the most crucial step I felt as they took a very long time. But I was advised at this stage to be after the Department of State as they are bit slow, in taking decision. So I was after them as and when the mentioned time frame in my document expired. I kept after them with lots of emails ([email protected] ) with the subject line of “J1 WAIVERâ€?. I faxed them. I wrote to them lot of snail mail too. I must have written every place I could think of. I am sure they were tired of me. But the response finally came positive. They had forwarded a copy to my local BCIS/INS of my case being approved by the “Department of Stateâ€?. This is my local INS office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
California Service Center
P.O. Box 30111
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-0111
6) I was happy. But there was one more hurdle I didn’t know, I had to get a waiver from the my local INS a waiver too.. I thought I could apply for my h1 b and both will be handled together. But “NO� my lawyer said I have to get the waiver from the INS rather bcis. And the INS approval is final decision before I can do anything
7) By this time I just had 2 months for getting my H1 B VISA. My visa was to expire on 8th August 2003. I had received a notice from the bcis saying that they have my file with them on June 20th, 2003 It was a scary thing.
8) I had meanwhile hired a lawyer, who advised to get my education and qualification evaluated while I wait for the waiver from the INS. He would not budge with the matter though I saw sites where people had applied for both simultaneously and also got approved.
9) But I am very truthfully impressed with the California Service Center, I just wrote to them one letter stating the reasons to expedite the matter very truthfully. Within 2 week, seriously the INS approved my case.(4th July I got my waiver)
10) I want for H1 B premium processing. My lawyer accordingly sent all my documents and filed on 9th July, 2003. I thought that the matter was over here and I relaxed. But on 14th July, I got a note from my lawyer saying that the BCIS require additional information for supporting my qualification suitable for the job profile. I have my MBA(finance) with 2 year experience in computer and I had applied for the Job of a programmer for my current company. Though my education was evaluated by an organization recommended by my lawyer it didn’t seem sufficient. It was another harrowing experience for me.
11) I didn’t give my employment reference letter before, as my lawyer didn’t ask. And I had forgotten to take from my employer in India the biggest mistake. While my lawyer found alternative solutions, I called my parents and India to get my reference letter. Thankfully my employer gave the reference letter without any problems. My father scanned and sent it to me very promptly. Thanks for the advancement in technology and email.
12) My lawyer meanwhile wanted a recommendation from a professor for my qualification, which he said, would help my case a lot. http://www.fis-web.com/ I was not too keen.
13) The time factor was a constraint and these people would take another 2 week for the professor to evaluate and my visa would expire. I was getting loggerhead at my lawyer; it is here that my fiancée stepped in to take the matter, as I was getting very impatient. He found it important to be patient than be rash and take matter in our hands. Patience paid off, the professor gave me excellent recommendations. So armed with my company reference letter,(My current boss), reference letter from 2 of my past employer and a strong recommendation letter from Chair in Department of Science Professor.
14) Finally we resubmitted the case with my lawyer cautiously optimistic that we would win the case on August 1st, 2003.
15) 1 more week to go for my visa to expire though I had a 1 month buffer I was not legally allowed to work during that period. But my lawyer insisted I could. So on 11th August, I still have not heard from anyone I still went to work taking my lawyer’s advice. That very day I got the email from my lawyer saying I have won my case. And the case was approved as 4th August, 2003. So I was not illegal even for 1 day. Trust me to me it will always be God’s miracle to work in the nick of time.

But my advice would be getting all your documents in hand before doing anything. Do with enough time in hand not in a hurried manner. Be truthful and honest in everything so that the Government can’t say no.

If anyone feels I can help email me at [email protected] I will try and help.
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