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J1 Visa Extension
Priscilla Du-Preez

J1 Visa Extension

Don’t have enough time to finish your studies on your J1 Visa? Give this post a read about the J1 Visa Extension.

First, please note that there is a difference between extending and reapplying for a J1 visa. This post is about extending your J1 visa.

In most cases, J1 visa holders’ non-immigrant status is valid until the expiration date printed on your visa. Applicants normally get the J1 status with enough time to complete your program. However, if the aforementioned does not apply to you and you are trying to extend your internship or training time period, please continue reading.

Architect-US has organized all the information you need about The J1 Visa Extension the following categories!


The J1 visa extension must be completed before the expiration date of your current Form DS-2019. Most sponsors recommend that you should request for extension at least 10 days in advance of an expiration date of the current J1 status.


In order to request for J1 visa extension, you must currently be in lawful J-1 status and your Form DS-2019 must have been issued by the designated sponsor organization you are applying for the extension with. Extensions are granted to let the participants complete their original objectives and not to start a new project. Some J1 programs do not allow extensions. For others, sponsoring organizations can extend the J1 status only through the maximum length allowed for a particular J1 program.


Please provide at least the following documents to the responsible officer at the sponsoring organization:

  • If you are not completely funded by the sponsoring organization, you will need to show financial documentation that shows that you have adequate resources to pay for tuition, fees and living expenses for one year or the remaining length of your studies, whichever is shorter.
  • All Form DS-2019s and IAP-66s issued to you, passport and Form I-94.
  • Proof of J1 visa health insurance for the duration of the J1 Visa Extension. This covers both the primary applicants on J1 visa as well as dependents on J2 visa.
  • All documents showing the valid reasons for the extension.
    • Letter from your advisor or responsible person stating the academic reasons for your need for the extension and the expected date of completion


    • A letter from your school or department that reflects that they have approved your request for a reduced course load or medical leave of absence based on a physician’s certification. A letter should also mention your position title and the proposed dates of extension. If you had a change of major or research topic or unexpected reason problems that may be compelling academic reasons that may be contributed to a delay in the completion of your program. Academic suspensions or probation are not compelling reasons for an extension.
  • You do NOT need to pay the SEVIS fee again.


While some of the process such requests within a week or so, the exact processing times may vary greatly.

The responsible officer at the sponsoring organization will review documents and determine whether you are eligible for the extension. When the J1 Visa Extension is approved, you will get the new Form DS-2019 with the new expiration date which will be recorded in SEVIS. If you have a spouse or dependent children on J2 visa, their stays will also be extended.


You can travel out of the U.S. at any time. However, in order to travel back to the U.S. (other than visits of less than 30 days to Canada, Mexico or adjacent territories), you will need a valid J visa stamped in your passport. If the visa stamp has expired, you will need to obtain a new visa before being allowed to travel back to the U.S.


In some program categories, extension beyond the maximum program duration may be allowed only under exceptional or unusual circumstances. In order to get the approval for such extensions, the responsible officer at the sponsor organization must send a written request to U.S. Department of State justifying the petition along with the supporting documentation and a nonrefundable fee of $246 (payable to the U.S. Department of State).


Even though the extension beyond the statutory maximum duration for a given program must be applied to U.S. Department of State, in case of J-1 professors and research scholars, an extension up to additional six months can be given at the program sponsor’s discretion without getting U.S. Department of State’s approval. However, such extension beyond the three-year maximum duration must be necessary to complete a specific project or research program. There is no guarantee that such applications will be approved.


If you would like to request an extension of the 30-day voluntary departure status period, you will have to contact the USCIS.

And that’s it! If you need more information, visit this website.

Contact us if you have any questions, and please check out this post if you are in the position of reapplying for a J1 visa!



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