If you are unable to complete your degree requirements by the completion date indicated on your DS-2019 (item #3), you must apply for a program extension. You should apply for a program extension at least 45 days before the completion date indicated on the DS-2019. You may fall out of lawful J-1 status and lose J-1 benefits if:
- You fail to apply for a program extension in a timely manner, even if you have valid reasons for an extension; or
- You apply for a program extension in a timely manner, but do not meet the requirements for an extension.
The expiration date of Form DS-2019 is tied to confirmed funding sources. In order to extend your DS-2019, you must come to the Office of International Services within 45 days of the expiration of your DS-2019, and provide evidence of continued financial ability. In addition, you must provide a letter of support from an academic advisor verifying that you are still in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward meeting your degree requirements. Specifically, you must provide:
- A Budget or Financial Plan. The budget should identify required expenses and anticipated sources of income for a minimum of one year. The budget should itemize the following for yourself and your J-2 dependents, if any
- expected tuition and fees
- health insurance costs for you and your J-2 dependents
- room and board
- books and supplies
- transportation and utilities
- personal and childcare expenses
- entertainment and other expenses
- expected income from scholarships, on- or off-campus employment, and personal savings
- Financial Documentation. Provide updated financial documentation showing renewal of existing scholarships or availability of new / additional funding sources. Acceptable documentation includes scholarship letters, bank statements, employment letters, etc.
- Letter from your Academic Advisor. Your academic advisor must provide a letter of support indicating that you are in good standing and making satisfactory, full-time progress toward degree completion.
Upon receiving the above documents, the OIS will review your eligibility for a program extension. If your request is approved, an extension one year (or more, if appropriate) will be granted. The OIS will update your J-1 records and provide you with a new DS-2019 with an updated expiration date. Separate DS-2019s will also be issued for any J-2 dependents.
In certain cases the OIS may not be able to grant a program extension, or may request additional information before proceeding:
- If you are requesting an extension which takes you beyond the normal estimated time for your degree (e.g., more than 2 years for a master of arts, 3-4 years for a master of education, or 5-7 years for a doctorate), the OIS may request additional information from your academic advisor to ascertain the reason why you were not able to complete on time. Delays in completion due to unsatisfactory academic performance, inadequate effort, lack of consultation with academic advisors, are not considered acceptable reasons for a program extension.
- If you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement and have obtained a waiver from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the OIS is not permitted to extend your J-1 program. Extending your DS-2019 after a waiver has been obtained will lead to a reimposition of the requirement.