Stay in the US longer?
February 25, 2009 6:41 PM   Subscribe

German national in the US. My six-month J1 (short term research scholar) visa has expired and I am currently allowed to stay no more than thirty more days. I am an EU citizen, not under the 2 year rule, and looking for an option to stay for a few more months (hopefully with the option of working part-time or interning). Any chance of that? (Posted on behalf of a friend.)
posted by limon to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
Adjustments to J1 status.
posted by jacalata at 7:05 PM on February 25, 2009

Response by poster: I'm not sure "unusual or exceptional circumstances" apply in this case.
posted by limon at 7:45 PM on February 25, 2009

Can you exit the States to say Canada or Mexico and return as a tourist? You could conceivably do some something freelance if you're particular on working.

Since you're an academic: I've heard that the shortage of high school teachers in the US means that foreign citizens don't have such a hard time getting a visa for this. Not sure where your interests lie but school here would be quite a different thing from Germany if you're up for it. I'm not sure if some sort of certification is required but you could talk to some schools.
posted by sidr at 8:52 PM on February 25, 2009

Have you found a prospective employer? It would be easy (as in cheap compared to, say, Indian citizens) for them to arrange a work visa for a EU citizen.
posted by halogen at 9:06 PM on February 25, 2009

This is almost pure speculation, but my german-national-on-a-short-term-visa roommate told me this morning that she had just found out, to her great frustration after going to the ends of the earth to extend her exchange visa, that one could get a longer visa for far less hassle through enrolling in some of the ESL schools here in New York. It seems like a cursory googling could confirm this, but I couldn't bring myself to navigate the labyrinthine ESL school websites that I encountered.

They're F-1 visas, not J-1, which makes things even more complicated—but it looks like your friend would get to stay at least 30 days after her request for a category change was processed by the state department, so hey, worth a shot, maybe, since surely that'll take a while if she can manage to get it started. Though it's hard to say why enrolling in such a program would be necessary (per the requirements for a change)—perhaps your friend was frustrated in her research due to not being more fluent in English?

(I'm sorry that I have nothing more than drunken party talk between expats hearsay to bring to this.)
posted by felix grundy at 9:24 PM on February 25, 2009

Sorry, I should have been more clear. One can certainly get visas to go along with ESL study in New York, I just couldn't tell from a cursory look if one could get one in a manner timely enough (and presumably cheap enough?) to be of interest or help to your friend.
posted by felix grundy at 9:30 PM on February 25, 2009

I tried to do a cross border visa run to Mexico (as well as a holiday), but there was no exit procedure on leaving the US, and on my return immigration didn't stamp my passport.

I vaguely remember reading something that laws had changed and you couldn't renew a tourist visa without leaving the continental US. For my situation, I had to go to Europe, and come back to renew a tourist visa.
posted by avex at 1:02 AM on February 26, 2009

How long does your current I-94 run for? I'm fairly certain that, even with an expired visa (which controls entry to the country), it's entirely legit to stay until your I-94 runs out.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 4:40 AM on February 26, 2009

I'm a german (obviously) and I have extensive experience with the whole us-visa deal. I only preface my post with that so you know I'm really serious when I tell you to under absolutely no circumstances you should overstay your visa - even by a single day. you run the risk of them barring you for ten years. make especially sure to surrender that white little page stapled into your Reisepass. if you can't figure out a way to adjust your status (a competent attorney like the wolfsdorf people in santa monica can answer your questions more competently than we can here), leave and return once you have your paperwork sorted.
posted by krautland at 8:40 AM on February 26, 2009

Looks like Wolfsdorf has a Manhattan branch—might be worth at least filling out the questionnaire and scheduling a consultation. (I'm assuming, of course, that since you're in New York your friend is, too.)
posted by felix grundy at 8:57 AM on February 26, 2009

I'm not sure "unusual or exceptional circumstances" apply in this case.

Exactly. I don't think it is possible for your friend to do this.

I just moved to the US on a working visa, and wanted to arrive before I started work and take a holiday. However, the only way I could have done this was to arrive on a tourist visa, travel, then leave the continental US and reenter on my work visa. I spent several weeks investigating this and asked for advice from lawyers handling my work immigration visa, and as I understand it there was no way to switch my visa status once I had entered except to leave the continent. The same will apply if I want to travel as a tourist when I finish my job here - I cannot extend the grace period in any way.
posted by jacalata at 2:58 PM on February 26, 2009

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