J-1 visa, change of job allowed?

Old Nov 3rd 2010, 7:16 pm
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Default J-1 visa, change of job allowed?

I've today received my J-1 visa back from the US Embassy in London. The visa is valid for 5 years (I am going as a research scholar) and it doesn't have the 2 year HRR.

I found out today that the contract I'm going to work on at a university in the US is subject to annual review, and I believe this means that it is only valid for one year (unless extended, following review). This raises the following questions

What implications does the 1 year job contract have on the visa?

Am I allowed to change employer while on the J-1?

Does the visa end when the job ends (even though the visa has an end date on it)?

How does it work for paying taxes (or not) and the things I've read that there may be 2 years exemption from paying social security and income tax while on a J-1?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old Nov 3rd 2010, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: J-1 visa, change of job allowed?

I don't know the J-1 answers, but I can't help but ask... what is happening with your Immigrant Visa case?
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Old Nov 3rd 2010, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: J-1 visa, change of job allowed?

Trust you, the wise one, not to miss a trick!! My wife decided to leave me in August.... having not heard a single thing from her, the day before my PhD viva I got an email from her solicitor to say we were getting a divorce. As you can imagine, it didn't help. I was at the stage with the marriage based visa, of sending off my paperwork and awaiting an appointment. So near, but so far.

Fortunately, I was up front with the univeristy as the world was falling down around me, and they suggested the J-1 visa. For anyone who has questions about applying for a J-1 visa, having an immigrant visa underway or having an American spouse didn't adversely affect me (thank goodness).
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Old Nov 3rd 2010, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: J-1 visa, change of job allowed?

Originally Posted by buzwad View Post
Trust you, the wise one, not to miss a trick!! My wife decided to leave me in August.... having not heard a single thing from her, the day before my PhD viva I got an email from her solicitor to say we were getting a divorce. As you can imagine, it didn't help. I was at the stage with the marriage based visa, of sending off my paperwork and awaiting an appointment. So near, but so far.

Fortunately, I was up front with the univeristy as the world was falling down around me, and they suggested the J-1 visa. For anyone who has questions about applying for a J-1 visa, having an immigrant visa underway or having an American spouse didn't adversely affect me (thank goodness).
Oh I'm very sorry to hear that, and sorry to be the one to bring it up.. (it's still in your sig file at the bottom of your posts or I wouldn't have looked backward).

User caleyjag has posted in the past about the tax situation. It came up for him because he got an O-1 visa afterward and had deferred the income taxes during the J-1. That post was in the USA forum.

The international student adviser at the school may be able to help you with the other questions.
I'm glad you were able to accept the position you were after!
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Old Nov 3rd 2010, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: J-1 visa, change of job allowed?

It was actually issued for 5 years?? I thought they would only do 3 years, with a possible 2 year extension later on

Just so you know, this sort of thing is very common for temporary university positions. The HR people try to pre-empt multiple extensions by arranging the visas for maximum allowable time, even if the position is only guaranteed for a year. It seemed really dodgy to me, but the ConOffs haven't batted an eyelid either time I've done mine (E-3)!

Sorry, I don't know about the real vs. stamped end-date - there's a chance it may not be the same as normal employment visas (for which, as soon as your position finishes, your status ends and you need to leave, regardless of how much time remains on the stamp or I-94.) However, I think if you find another job while in-status, there is some capacity for a transfer. (I don't think these are totally straight-forward though - something about the 'same research objectives.')

I believe a J-1 does have a choice on some taxes, but if you are going to be in the country longer than two years, I think you are better off just paying them from the start. (Don't quote me on this! It is just half-remembered stuff from what I've heard others say. I didn't have this choice on an E-3.) You should get some sort of orientation information from your university before you need to make this decision, though.

Btw, if you are googling, be sure to include the term 'postdoc', otherwise you will get all manner of random summer camp/student stuff.
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Old Nov 3rd 2010, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: J-1 visa, change of job allowed?

Thank you Retzie!!

Some great info Yes, just to be clear for others interested in J-1s, the visa is definitely for 5 years and (for what it's worth) it started the day it was printed (not the day I start work)... which means I can effectively leave immediately (instead of up to 30 days before the start). However, it also means that it is 5 years from the start, not from the start of my job :-p

I think you're right on the induction, should get some info there.
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