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I know an applicant who was dependent in early 1990s when he came to the US with his father. His father had J1 visa and we're not sure if he had J2 visa (we do not know when J2 visa was first issued, we're not sure because H4 dependent visa was issued in 1997).

Now assuming back then the J2 visa was issued to dependents, the applicant in hand did not have a passport and was registered as dependent on his father's. He left the US mid 1990s and never returned.

He is now applying for a B1 visa and the application asks whether or not he had visa to the US previously. The application proceeds to ask for the date of the visa.

Unfortunately, they cannot find the date since it was over 20 years ago. They are not even sure if he had a J2 visa to begin with since he had no passport at the time.

Question #1: is it possible for him to find his dependent visa records provided that he had Social-Security-Number when he was in the US?

Question #2: if the answer to 1 is Yes, where can he get the information from? And what is the procedure to follow?

Question #3: if the answer to 1 is No, what date should be provided on the application form given he can't possibly get the records? And how does that affect his application?

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  • It should be safe to assume that he had a J-2 visa if he went with his father and his father had a J-1 visa.
  • I don't think there's a way to get those records from the US government. Maybe the original J-1 sponsor could provide the J-1 start date or employment start date, but this is a long shot.
  • For something that happened over 20 years ago, I think an estimated date would be acceptable if there is no way to find the exact date. Indicate that the date is estimated and the reason why the exact date is unavailable---for example, the old documents were lost, or he no longer has access to them.
  • Perfect thank you. They went with an estimated date since there is no way of finding out the original. – Everyone Apr 11 at 19:35

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