Query regrading J visa

Dear Sir,

I am Kishore Punnath, am writing to know few details about J1 visa regulations and I request you to kindly help me in this regard.
During 2016, I had worked as a Predoctoral Research Scholar at Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA. I was on the J1-exchange visitor visa category from February 2016 to December 2017. As an exchange visitor on a J1 visa, I was subjected to a 2 year home residency rule which was until December 2019 (i.e., December 2017 to December 2019). Of these 2 years of the required home residency period, I had served 1 year until Dec 2018.
At present, I am working as a postdoctoral scholar at Hershey medical center on a J2 visa (with EAD issued). My wife’s employment will end by March 15th, 2021. I would greatly appreciate it if you kindly advise me on the following:

  • How can I change my J2 status to J1?
  • Does her two year home stay rule apply to me? (From March 16 1, 2021 to March 16, 2023). In such a case, if she applies and gets a waiver can I only serve the remaining 1 year of my previous J1 visa and return on the J1 category after March 16, 2022? Or I am still required to apply for a J1 visa only for March 16, 2023.
  • Can I apply for a waiver and change my status to H1B. How can I expedite this process?

Any kind help and advice in this regard at the earliest will be highly appreciated.


Kishore Punnath