Comparison of H-1B and J-1 Visas



There many significant differences between the H-1B visa and the J-1 visa for researchers, including professors. Depending on your circumstances, one or the other could be the better option for you.

  H-1B J-1
CWRU employment Must work at the job listed on the H-1B petition. No other employment is permitted unless that employer has filed a "parallel" H-1B. No honoraria payments are permitted. No outside consulting. Must engage in the activity described on his/her DS-2019. May engage in occasional other employment as long as it is related to the field of study and it is approved by the Director of the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services(IHRS).
Funding source Must be on CWRU payroll. Funding may come from a variety of sources, including self-funding.
Duration Minimum stay is 1 year. Maximum stay is 6 years but each petition can be filed for no more than 3 years. The appointee must be physically present in the US when the H-1B extension is filed. Minimum stay is 21 days. Maximum stay is 42 months. Extraordinary Extensions may be requested for up to one year but must be approved by the Department of Labor (there is a $198 filing fee).
Effects on H-4 or J-2 spouse H-4 dependents may not apply for work authorization. H-4s may change status to H-1 if they qualify. J-2 dependents may apply to CIS for an employment authorization document (EAD) but the salary cannot be part of the funding for J-1 activities.
Timing of USCIS paperwork H-1Bs require consultation with the Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Currently, this process is taking about 6 months. "Premium Processing" requires an additional fee of $1,225 and cuts the time to one month. Please allow time for departmental processes. DS-2019 forms are completed internally by IHRS office after validating the J-1 in the Department of Labor's SEVIS database. Does not involve a petition to CIS. IHRS office can produce the DS-2019 in relatively short order once we have all necessary supporting documentation. Please allow time for departmental processes.
Timing of visa acquisition Security checks currently being run on all changes of status and all visa applicants. These can run several weeks. Security checks currently being run on all changes of status and all visa applicants. These can run several weeks.
Cost Please contact IHRS for latest government fees. FedEx costs are paid by the department. No fees involved for the first 42 months. Extraordinary Extensions require a $198 filing fee paid by the department (CWRU check) made out to the U.S. Department of State.
Special provisoins No 212(e) requirement. Two year home residency requirement (212(e)) may apply if the J-1 is from a country that wants her educated people to return, is directly funded by a government source, or is in the U.S. to complete a medical residency. Please note that a waiver must be obtained prior to applying for a change of status to an H-1B or permanent residency ("green card").
Tenure/ tenure track Must fill a position that carries a CWRU staff title. May fill a tenure-track position. May not fill a position that carries a CWRU staff title. May not fill a tenure-track position.