J-1 Out-of-Status and Happily Pregnant

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Note: The Law Offices of Larry L. Doan in Los Angeles, CA, provides the following blog article and other information on this site, including our responses to comments, for the purpose of legal information only; it is NOT legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

This summer the Blog will be updated frequently with the popular question/answer feature, composed of actual and recent consultation questions taken from the Guru’s file and his answers.

Dear GuruImmigration,

I have a J1 visa for 3 more years but the contract i came for its already expired, its been 1 years after that.

I just got pregnant and our marriage plans are going to be much sooner now.

We dont have insurance now and im not working so we were thinking i could get insurance from him after marriage.

And if not maybe get all our papers done so we could go to my native country and i could give birth there.

We really dont know exactly what to do, any idea? Thanks a lot.


First of all, congratulations for your pregnancy! If you were not on the J-1, then you could marry your US citizen fiancé (assuming he’s a US citizen), and adjust status to a green card while remaining here. Unfortunately, as you probably know (or should know), most J-1 visas have the two-year foreign residency requirement preventing them from applying for a green card until they go back and live in their country for at least two years. You would have to check the J-1 program that sponsored you and see if the requirement applies to you.

Assuming it does apply to you, you would have to apply for a waiver to waive this requirement. The waiver can be obtained through a few ways, including showing extreme hardship to your US citizen spouse and child if you were forced to live apart from them. It’s not easy to get, however, and realistically, usually only succeeds with help of an immigration lawyer. I recommend you consult with one.

As for your health insurance, as far as I know, a spouse is covered on his/her spouse’s health insurance if the premium is paid, regardless of their legal status in this country.


Larry L. Doan, Esq.


Copyright © 2014 Law Offices of Larry L. Doan

Any action you take or rely upon after reading the information on this blog is your own responsibility and the Law Offices of Larry L. Doan bears no responsibility or connection to such action. For an analysis of your detailed and specific questions related to your individual immigration situation or problem, there is no substitute for a “live” meeting with an attorney. This can only be done during a paid consultation between the Law Offices of Larry L. Doan and you.  To get started with a consultation, please contact us: paidconsult@guruimmigration.com.


3 Responses to “J-1 Out-of-Status and Happily Pregnant”

  1. Comments or questions related to the blog post you’ve just read can be left in the “Leave a Reply” box below. HOWEVER: All comments or questions regarding your or family member’s immigration situation and seeking info or advice on what to do next will be ignored unless you contact us for a paid consultation here: paidconsult@guruimmigration.com. By doing so, please expect a quote for the price of the consultation with the Guru, Attorney Doan.

    We must implement this policy due to the volume of inquiries and emails received from this blog. We can only respond in the comments section below to general questions that seek clarification of a point made in the blog post above in a general way.


  2. The No Objection statement based waiver is routinely granted IF your exchange program did not use any US government funding. If it did, then it will likely be denied.

    The post is right on about other methods such as extreme hardship being difficult to obtain on your own. Physical separation and emotional stress does not constitute extreme hardship. Extreme hardship is usually only granted in situations where if the J-1 visitor does not stay in the US, the US citizen will die or severely suffer due to lack of constant care.


    • You made some good points regarding the J-1. However, it’s not true that “Physical separation and emotional stress does not constitute extreme hardship.” They ARE part of the extreme hardship consideration in the aggregate. They are not sufficient in themselves, of course, without other factors. However, you bet that in every case you would describe and play up the physical separation and emotional stress factors (through the applicant’s declaration and other supporting evidence), including having the psychologist’s report describing these factors. Extreme hardship is not only used in the J-1 context but is the standard used in other types of relief such as with the I-601 and I-601A waivers, NACARA for applicants with criminal records, and the old suspension of deportation. It’s the same standard as defined in BIA caselaw and by the courts.

      Larry L. Doan, Esq.


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