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Extending my J1 Visa and starting all over again

Now that the end of my J1 visa is nearby, I started to realize I could still learn much much more from Night Owls then I did in my 6 month internship. The company also saw more potential in me if they were able teach me a little longer. So we both agreed to try and extend my current J1 Visa into another six months!

Literally everything all over again…

Everything I went through the first time, I can do all over again this time. But then again, it’s all definitely worth it! (if my visa extension get accepted of course). So what steps to take? Get your visa extension accepted by your visa sponsor. CICD in my case. After they send you all the required documentations again, you can start applying at the US embassy in your country. One thing to mention before your sponsor will accept your visa extension: Both you and your company need to write a motivation letter why you want an extension and what new things you will learn during the extension. You can not just write that you will do the same things as in your first six months, because then they will deny your extension. And proof that your health insurance is still valid as well.

At the embassy you need to provide your bank statements to prove you can afford living another six months in New York. You also need a nice, new and fresh picture of your face. I was super enthusiast so I was way too early at my embassy appointment.

Waiting at the US Embassy in Brussels

The visa is not enough

Having the visa is not enough of course. Now that you have it you can start booking your flights and looking for a new room in the city. I was lucky a colleague of mine offered me a room in his apartment, so I could stay there for a few weeks rent free. While I continued my search for a new, personal room. I knew how to hunt for an apartment already thanks to my previous six months, and I found a nice, cozy room within a week. My room is located near Union Square, which is an amazing location!

I have 2 nice roommates. 2 guys, 1 is a residential student and the other one works around the financial district. We don’t have a common space in our apartment, which is not so nice. Because now I almost never see them. Without common space, the only place we can sit is in our own room.

But the location Union Square has lots of things to offer! Besides restaurants and bars, Union Square is also a large subway hub and a nicely location for me and my work. I can still use my bike to go to anywhere in the city. (unless I need to go to Brooklyn or Queens) Then biking is too far of course.