I know this is probably a very random topic for this website but I really need some help from anyone who can offer me some constructive advice please!
Let me start by explaining my current situation to you…
I am living and working in the US on a J1 visa which is valid up till the end of July 05 and I have no residency restrictions of any sort attached to my visa.
I love the US and very much want to stay on beyond my J1 visa time period, over the past few weeks I have been researching what options are available to me in order to extend my stay and I have come up with the following:
- H1-B visa - Should my current employer not give me the option to stay on with them with an extension under my current visa or offer me permanent employment with an H1 visa… I have enquired and submitted my resume to possible visa sponsoring companies in the US with regard to this and possibly finding employment before I am required to leave the states. I am qualified enough with a Bachelor’s Degree and I do realize that there are a quotas to how many H1-B visas are issued each year, and that it is a lengthy process which could go beyond my current visa expiration date which does hinder my chances of finding sponsorship and employment in time.
- Can anyone clarify for me that I would indeed be able to change my visa status to an H1 from a J1 visa?, and because I am already in the US having worked for a US employer would this make my chances of changing the visa status easier to complete provided I have a H1 visa sponsor?
- The second option that I have , and one which is looking like the most straight forward option is this:
My girlfriend is an American citizen and we have talked about getting married, and would definitely consider this as an option should the H1 visa not become available to me in time. this now would be related to a K visa if I am correct?
- My question goes like this: If my girlfriend and I were to marry in the US before my current visa expires, would this make me eligible to stay on in the US without having to leave the country and still be allowed to work under the now K visa?
- How would I go about having my visa status/category changed to reflect that I am now married to an American citizen?
I hope my questions make some sense to you all and that you can help me with any advice or suggestions, or even an accurate resource/link/person that you could put me in contact with to assist me further with my questions.