If I have a J1 visa sponsored by a specific employer, can I leave and get a new job for the length of my visa?

My cousin from Moldova was given a J1 visa good until Sep. 30. He was then fired from his job and the employer told him he needed to leave the country. Can he work for another company for the length of his J1 visa? What are the downsides as long as he leaves before his visa expires?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No. You may not seek new employment, you may not adjust status, and you may also be held to the two-year rule.

  • 1 decade ago

    If he has already been terminated without being afforded the opportunity to transfer his J-1, he must leave the United States. Generally if a J-1 is terminated, and his sponsorship came through a sponsoring agency (as opposed to the employer directly), the agency can make an effort to replace the alien in another program. From the looks of things, however, this is not the case. Since he is no longer employed, your cousin no longer has status (even if the visa is valid through September 30) and he must make immediate plans to leave the United States. The last thing he wants is to be picked up by Immigration & Customs Enforcement and get placed into removal (deportation) proceedings.

    Good luck

    Source(s): 5 years of practicing immigration law :)
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    You need to maintain the employer/employee relationship intact in order for your H-1 B visa to remain in status. You may work full/part time, on vacation, sick/maternity/paternity leave, or on strike w/o affecting your status. You may change H-1 B employers but the new company must file Form I-129 petition and approved in your behalf before you start working for them.

  • 1 decade ago

    No. You can't change the J1 to another employer. Sorry.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Curious Guy is right as always. No, he can't change employers. He must go home.

    The downside would be that he might get caught, jailed, fined, and deported.

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