J-1 Program Extensions

If you will not be able to complete your program objectives by the end date on form DS-2019, and you are eligible for additional time in your J-1 category, then your sponsoring MUSC department can request a J-1 program extension. Extensions can only be granted if you need additional time to continue your J-1 program activities at MUSC. Program extension requests must be submitted at least 60 days prior to your current J-1 program end date.


Each J-1 category has maximum time limits. Refer to your Form DS-2019 to determine your J-1 category. You can only receive a J-1 program extension up to the maximum time limit allowed in your J-1 category.

IMPORTANT: If you are subject to 212(e) and you apply for a J-1 waiver, you will no longer be eligible for any further extensions of your J-1 program. Therefore, if you apply for a J-1 waiver too soon (before you have utilized the maximum amount of time allotted for your particular J-1 category), you may find yourself in a situation where your J-1 program cannot be extended and you may have to leave the United States.

You must have guaranteed funding for the entire duration of the extension period that meets the minimum J-1 funding requirements (for yourself and any J-2 dependents).

You must have insurance for your entire J-1 program duration that meets the J-1 insurance requirements. This means that you must renew your insurance or obtain new insurance for the J-1 extension period. If you have employee insurance through MUSC, your insurance should renew automatically.


Program extension requests can be submitted to CGH at any time throughout the program. Program extension requests must be submitted at least 60 days prior to your current J-1 program end date. Your sponsoring MUSC department must submit the J-1 extension request to CGH through Terra Dotta. You (the Exchange Visitor) cannot submit the J-1 extension request.

If you think you need a J-1 extension, you should contact your faculty supervisor or your department administrative manager as soon as possible to discuss extending your J-1 program. Do not wait until the last minute to discuss the J-1 extension with your sponsoring department. The process of submitting a J-1 extension request takes time, and departments may have to go through many internal procedures and approvals before submitting the request to CGH.

Your department will provide you with J-1 extension offer letter to sign. This will be submitted to CGH with the J-1 extension request. If you are funded by MUSC, your sponsoring MUSC department must also provide documentation guaranteeing that they can provide funding for the extension period.

If you receive any funding for your J-1 program from an outside organization or personal funds, you must provide documentation guaranteeing funding for the extension period. For funding from an outside organization, the documentation must be on official letterhead and contain the amount of funding (in US dollars) and the dates the funding will be provided to you. For personal funds, you must provide an official bank statement dated within the past 30 days showing the total minimum amount of funding for the extension period.

New Form DS-2019

Once the program extension has been processed, CGH will issue a new Form DS-2019 reflecting the new program end date. The new DS-2019 will be mailed to you at your home address.

The new DS-2019 will be the primary DS-2019 that you use moving forward. However, keep in mind that you must retain the originals of all DS-2019 forms that are issued to you indefinitely as part of your US immigration records. In other words, do not discard previous DS-2019 forms.

J-1 Status Extension

As long as you have a valid I-94 record with “D/S” as your admit until date and a valid (unexpired) Form DS-2019, you are permitted to remain in the US to continue your J-1 program participation (provided that you are complying with all of the rules and requirements of the program). Therefore, once you have received the new DS-2019 showing your new J-1 program end date, your J-1 status has been extended.

If your J-1 visa in your passport has expired, you do not need to get another J-1 visa in order to remain in the US in valid J-1 status. The visa in your passport is simply the entry document that allows you to request entry into the US in a particular status.

The only reason that you would need to obtain a new J-1 visa is if you must travel outside of the US and subsequently return to the US in J-1 status. In this case, you must apply for a J-1 visa at a US embassy or consulate outside of the US using your new Form DS-2019 form before returning to the US. You cannot apply for a J-1 visa while in the US. Refer to our J-1 Travel page for more details.