I am a UK resident, will an IVA affect me regarding obtaining a j-1 visa? 3 Answers as of December 30, 2010

We have an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement). This is basically a debt scheme but is sometimes linked with bankruptcy. Our credit rating shows this but when we apply for the visa it will be completed and fully paid off although still showing that we once had this debt. As a UK citizen, will this affect us obtaining a J-1 visa and J-2 visa for my wife and children?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
The short answer is maybe. If you were depending upon your own resources as your support means prior to being admitted, then the IVA (bankruptcy) may prevent you from demonstrating support due to lack of assets in your country. However, that applies more to a J-1 coming for a scholar's temporary study program. If there is an employment in the U.S., such as with a health care entity connected to a university that is the base for a J-1, you may be able to still qualify. Or you may use a family member or willing friend to commit to financial sponsorship, one who lives in the UK. To discuss your options further, feel free to call or e-mail to set up a phone consultation. Best to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/30/2010
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
Prior bankruptcy or debtor type arrangements such as you have described do not generally disqualify you from being eligible for a J-1, or other non-immigrant visas. The only possible impact they might have is relative to two issues which are important to obtaining a non-immigrant visa. One is that you must demonstrate that you are not likely to become a public charge while in the US, so to the extent to you have outstanding indebtedness or will not be earning enough to support yourself while in the US, or might have to resort to unauthorized employment while in the US, this would be a concern. The other is you must demonstrate non-immigrant intent, i.e. the intention not to remain the US permanently, which means you have to convince the US Consulate in the UK that you intend to go home, someone who has a large indebtedness in their home country, who might be perceived as seeking to flee that financial obligation perhaps could be viewed as unlikely to want to return. However, it should be pointed out that the issue of indebtedness and bankruptcy does not generally come up in the context of a non-immigrant visa application unless there is some criminal related offense which appears of record, i.e. fraud by check, etc., so I don't think that this will be a problem, and you have indicated that your obligations will have been paid off by the time of your application, so I do not believe that this will have any impact on you.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 12/10/2010
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
J1 visa is exchange-scholar visa or trainee visa. The obstacle for a visa is the indication whether you will become public charge of US government or not. If you can find a person in US to issue financial affidavit for you, you should be fine. If not, there could be a problem.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/9/2010
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