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I have two postdoctoral job offers (both under the J-1 category, different sponsors). My questions are:

  • If I apply for J-1 with the DS-160 issued by one of the sponsors, if my visa is eventually granted, can I eventually refuse this job offer and work for my other sponsor, even if I applied with the first sponsor? Or should I restart the process again with the DS-160 issued by the second sponsor? If so, what is the cancel procedure, etc? Both jobs are of the same nature, I obviously don't mean changing to a job/sponsor which is not covered by the J-1 program.

  • In an extreme case, can I work for the two employers? (J-1 sponsored by one of them only, obviously) I am asking this question from the visa perspective, not considering possible work hours incompatibilities, etc.

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    Concerning your first question, if you really have both offers on the table and can freely decide between them, what on Earth do you expect to gain by accepting one of them and then reneging on this at a later date? (What you potentially stand to lose by doing this should be clear.) Concerning your second question, see: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/165637/… You really should be asking whether this is a good or even feasible idea in the first place, not about the technicalia of obtaining a J-1 visa. Apr 4, 2022 at 21:38
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    In any case, a J-1 visa is tied to a particular program. A J-1 visa to work at the University of X does not allow you to work at the University of Y, or really (with very limited exceptions) to do any other work in the U.S. except for the specific position at the University of X. Apr 4, 2022 at 21:49
  • @AdamPřenosil that looks like an answer to me! Why not post it? Apr 5, 2022 at 15:08
  • @user2705196 It only answers one half of the question, and to write a proper answer I should first look up an official source supporting this. I am merely making an observation based on my personal experience with J-1, hence a comment instead of an answer. Apr 5, 2022 at 16:20
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    @AdamPřenosil (This is not MY comment, but I removed it from the answer of Hans to their own question when editing it, as it is not part of the answer. If you answer to this comment, please direct @Hans) "Btw, Adam, I had also seen on other forums that J-1 is tied to a particular program. However, I interpret the opposite from the answer [that I got from the US embassy], what do you think?"
    – Sursula
    Apr 6, 2022 at 1:17

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Actually the US embassy got back to me with info I hadn't found anywhere on the internet. Here it is:

Thank you for your email.

You may apply for a J-1 visa on the basis of the first exchange program you wish to undertake. However, you should be prepared to discuss both programs with the interviewing consular officer and, if available, you should bring the Form DS-2019 for the second exchange program with you to your visa interview.

The validity period of a visa relates to the time in which the visa holder may travel to a United States Port of Entry to apply for admission; it does not determine the length of stay. Admission to the United States, including the authorized length of stay, is a matter for the immigration officials at the U.S. Port of Entry.   

If you are issued with a J-1 visa, you should be prepared to furnish to the immigration official at the Port of Entry the DS-2019 forms and SEVIS fee receipts for both programs so that they may take them into account when considering the authorized period of admission.  

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