I am currently a master student with an F1 visa and expected to graduate this year. Since I had a J1 visa with a 2 years home residency requirement and my initial plan was to get a job immediately after obtaining my degree, I applied for a J1 waiver and got approved soon. However, now I change my mind and decide to pursue a PhD degree after obtaining my master degree. A problem comes up: People told me that my approved J1 waiver might increase my immigrant intent and once I went back to my home country, I would be taking a big risk. After waiving J1, people will stay at US until they get an H1B or a green card. Is this true? PhD study is a long period so I will have to go home sooner or later. Or at least I must leave US to attend some academic conferences. My questions are: 1. Does J1 waiver really increase my immigrant intent and the risk of leaving US? Will it have a bad effect when I apply for a new F1 visa for my PhD study? 2. Is the VO aware of my J1 waiver if I don't mention it? 3. Any suggestion on my situation?