J1 Visa Extension
Priscilla Du-Preez

J1 Visa Extension

Are you worried about your J1 Visa extension? We have got you covered with all the information you need to be prepared for your J1 Visa extension process.

It is important to note the difference between extending your J1 Visa and reapplying for a J1 visa. In this blog we will be talking about the extension of your J1 Visa.

This blog was primarily written for those J1 visa holders’ non-immigrant status that have an end date that cuts their experience short. Please continue reading if you are in this category.

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

Your J1 Visa extension must be completed and approved before your expiration date on your current Form DS-2019. It is always to be safe than sorry, so make sure you give yourself at least 10 days before the expiration date on your current J1 Visa. 

To be eligible for a 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. The reason for extensions is to grant J1 participants with the extra time they need to finish their original objectives, and never to start a new project.

Make sure that your J1 visa sponsor program allows for extensions before starting the process, as some do not allow extensions of any type.


These are the necessary documents to extend your J1 Visa, this is the bare minimum you need to extend:

  • You must show financial documentation that proves you have the resources to be able to fund the rest of your stay (i.e. . pay for tuition, fees and living expenses for one year or the remaining length of your studies) If your sponsor organization is funding part of your stay, you may need to prove a lesser amount of money in your bank.  
  • 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
  • Documents showing your reasoning for the extension
    • A written and signed letter from your advisor or person responsible for your J1 experience


    • A written and signed letter from your Academic institution or Organization that shows their approval for your request for a reduced course load or medical leave of absence based on a physician’s certification. Should include your position title and the proposed dates of extension. Any reasons for major changes or unexpected reason that caused problems leading to the need for an extension.

Please make sure that you DO NOT pay the SEVIS fee again! As it is not necessary for your extension request.

As with any bureaucratic process, the time frame can vary. Part of the process can be done within a week or so, yet other factors may impact the time it takes to complete the extension process.

Your representative at the sponsoring organization must go over the documents submitted and decide on your eligibility. Then once the J1 Visa Extension is approved, you will get your new DS-2019 form. This new form will include your new expiration date. This date and the new form will be registered in SEVIS.

Any request to extend your J1 Visa beyond the initial extension period would only be allowed under exceptional or unusual circumstances. To start such a request for another extension, your representative at your sponsoring organization would have to submit a written request to U.S. Department of State. This request would have to justify your petition along with the supporting documentation and a nonrefundable fee of $246 paid to the State Department.


Any grace period request for an extension of the 30-day voluntary departure status period will have to be done through a contact at the USCIS.

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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