Transferring to Another School Under J1 Visa


Are you thinking of transferring to another school district in another state?

Here are some guidelines to help you in your decision-making:

  1. Find your valid reason. There must be something that the school district can do to help you in your situation. For example, if you are having difficulty adjusting to teaching middle school students, transfer within schools could be possible. If you need more training to adapt well to US Education, I'm pretty sure the school district would be able to find you a mentor or schedule professional development training for you. But, if you have more grave reasons, then read on.
  2. Email your sponsor about your situation. Your sponsor is your first and final resort. Unfortunately, you cannot change sponsors within your J1 visa program. However, you can end your program anytime, go home, and start over with another sponsor. Before you can transfer to another state, your sponsor has to give you approval and paperwork to legalize your transfer. You will also have to pay for the transfer process. 

Other Tips for Easy Transfer:

  1. Before securing another job elsewhere, be sure that the sponsor already has presence in that state or a partnership with the school district. 
  2. When you have secured a job offer from that state, please ask your sponsor if they can process and do so immediately. 


  1. Resign and not inform your sponsor about your plans. Your sponsor will report you to the US Department of State, and you don't want to risk your legal presence in the US.
  2. Before the end of the school year, your school district will ask you to sign a contract or intent to stay for the next school year - you do have the prerogative not to sign the contract, but please inform your sponsor about your next plans.

Based on prior cases/experiences:

  1. The teacher got approval to transfer because the school district did not renew the teacher's contract for the next school year.
  2. The teacher got approval to transfer because employment is at will - and you do have the right but within bounds of the program.
  3. The teacher got approval to transfer because the school district and the teacher couldn't meet halfway.

Note: Unfortunately, you cannot transfer to another VISA sponsor during the duration of your J1 program. You are TIED to your current visa sponsor (the one stamped on your passport). When you return to your home country, after your 2-year home requirement, you can choose a new sponsor for you.


  1. I’m a CELTA certified English teacher in India and have 6 years experience with higher secondary. Can I try for h1b? I’m 48 years old


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