J-1 Program Extensions

If you will not be able to complete your program objectives by the end date on your current 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.

Eligibility

Extensions of a J-1 program are only permitted in order to continue the original J-1 program goals and objectives.

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.

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 employee benefits, your insurance should renew automatically.

If you are subject to the 212(e) two-year home country residency requirement, and you apply for a J-1 waiver, you are not eligible for any further extensions of your J-1 program. Therefore, if you apply for a J-1 waiver 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.

J-1 Extension Request Process

J-1 program extension requests can be submitted at any time during your active J-1 program. Program extension requests must be submitted at least 60 days prior to your current J-1 program end date (found on your Form DS-2019). Your sponsoring MUSC department must submit the J-1 extension request to the Center for Global Health 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 and your department administrative manager as soon as possible to discuss extending your J-1 program. We highly recommend that you have this discussion several months in advance of your J-1 program end date. The process of submitting a J-1 extension request takes time, and sponsoring departments may have to go through many internal procedures and approvals before submitting the J-1 extension request to the Center for Global Health.

Your department will provide you with J-1 extension offer letter to sign. This will be submitted 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. The bank statement must be stamped, sealed or signed by a bank official.

Updated Form DS-2019

Once the J-1 program extension has been processed, a Responsible Officer in the Center for Global Health will issue an updated Form DS-2019 reflecting the new program end date (the J-1 program start date will remain the same). The updated Form DS-2019 will be sent to you at your current US home address. If you have J-2 dependents, you will also receive updated Forms DS-2019 for your J-2 dependents.

The updated Form 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 any previous DS-2019 forms.

J-1 Status Extension

As long as you have a valid (unexpired) passport, a valid I-94 record showing J-1 as the class of admission and ā€œD/Sā€ as the 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 updated Form DS-2019 with your new J-1 program end date, your J-1 status has been extended.

If the 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 J-1 visa in your passport is the travel entry document that allows you to request entry into the US in a J-1 status when traveling from abroad.

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 updated Form DS-2019 form before returning to the US. You cannot apply for a J-1 visa while in the US. Refer to the J-1 Travel page for more details.