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Is a J-1 Visa Holder Eligible to apply for a Green Card?

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. Participants are integral to the success of the program. Here you can learn more about obtaining the J-1 Visa and other relevant visas.

Yes, a J-1 visa holder is eligible for a green card.

To obtain a green card, the alien must first file a petition I-140 with the USCIS. After this, it is essential to apply for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) or for an immigrant visa. If the alien resides in the U.S., they should use an AOS application. If the alien lives in a foreign country, they need to apply for an immigrant visa.

In-order to apply for immigrant status, you can consider any one of the following options:

  • Family based immigration: A petition can be filed by your relatives who are U.S citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Employment based immigration: In this case, you must find an employer who will file a labor certificate at the DOL for you.
  • EB-1: Based on the classification of EB-1A “alien of extraordinary ability” or EB-1B “outstanding professor or researcher,” you can file an immigrat petition.
  • National interest waiver: There are certain waivers available to individuals who can prove themselves as “aliens of extraordinary ability.” Waivers are also available to individuals seeking opportunities to work in the U.S. These waivers are called national interest waivers. Filing an immigration petition through the national interest waiver can help you obtain immigrant status.

Petitions for green cards can be filed at any time, even if the individual is subject to the requirement to reside outside of the U.S. for a period of two years. The individual must satisfy the two-year foreign residency requirement after the petition has been approved. A waiver can be obtained for the foreign residency requirement, in which case the individual need not move to the home country.

Are you eligible to apply for a Green Card?

Are you currently living in the United States?

Have you lived in the US for more than 3 months?

Did you enter the United States with an active visa or green card?

Are you married to a US citizen?

Do you have an immediate family member that is a U.S. Citizen or is a Green Card holder?

Analyzing Eligibility

We're sorry.

You are probably not eligible to apply.

If you would like to apply for a Green Card, instead of a Renewal, we can help you.


You are eligible to apply for a Green Card with SimpleCitizen!

Updated on January 15, 2020

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  1. Could you please provide me more details about how could I apply for a Green – Card even though I m under a J1 Visa and living in the USA right now.

    I m a trainee in a Multinational Company and my visa will expire in a few months, so I m looking for some alternatives to extend or get a permanent visa in order to keep working for this company.

    I have been applied for the H1B, but no luck on the first round, and now I m waiting for the second round.

    It will be great if I can have some options besides the process that I m working on right now.

  2. Hi there, I am currently on a J1 visa and my father sponsored me. However, uscis sent me an approval letter. Can you explain how I can change status from the J1 to green card. Thank you

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