Is it possible to return to the US on a tourist visa after the J1 expires?


New Member
Hi Everyone
I have a J1 visa and I just got married to USC and we will be getting married in March 2021. We may not apply for GC and move back to my hometown (Netherlands) after the wedding. My J1 is expiring in December 2020 so I will have to leave the US in January but I want to stay until the wedding.

Can I travel outside the US in January, come back on a tourist visa, and leave after the wedding in April?

I've heard that this won't work but I don't understand what the exact problem would be. I understand that coming back to the US on the same day seems a bit suspicious but what about a week or a month or a year later? Obviously it would be fine to visit the US then for a vacation? I will just go back to stay with my wife and not apply for GC or anything suspicious/illegal.

As far as I know, the 2 year foreign residency requirement does not prevent me from applying for a tourist visa again. (I'm studying for 2 years but consulted.) Thanks !


Well-Known Member
I'm assuming you mean 2021 and 2022 in your first paragraph, not 2020 and 2021. Also what do you mean you just got married but will get married? Anyway ...

Technically it’s ok, in practice you may face issues. Section 214b of the INA says that tourist visa/entry applicants are assumed to have immigrant intent unless they can prove otherwise. Think how suspicious your situation will seem: you’ve been here two years (?) on the J, and just got married to a USC, and now you want to immediately return supposedly just to visit? (A day, a week, a couple of weeks are pretty much all ”immediately” given the length of time you’ve been here). If you don’t have very strong proof to show why you will leave in April then I would expect you to face difficulties with this plan. You can try of course, nothing ventured nothing gained, but have a plan B.