If you cannot complete your program of study by the end date on your DS-2019 due to compelling academic or medical reasons, you must apply for an extension of stay before your current DS-2019 expires.
J-1 students are expected to complete all degree requirements by the Program End Date on their DS-2019. If you will not complete your academic program by the Program End Date (section 3) on your current DS-2019 due to compelling academic or medical reasons, you must file for an Extension of Stay and receive a new DS-2019 with a new Program End Date.
You must apply for and receive your new DS-2019 before your current DS-2019 expires.
If approved for an Extension of Stay, you will be permitted to remain in the U.S. to complete your degree requirements.
If you have completed all degree requirements, you are not eligible for a DS-2019 Extension of Stay.
We recommend that you submit your application to ISS at least 30–90 days before the Program End Date on your current DS-2019. The earliest you can apply is one semester before the Program End Date on your current DS-2019.
The maximum length of Extension is 1 year. If more than one year is needed to complete degree requirements, you will need to apply for another Extension in the future.
Your extension request must be submitted and approved by ISS before the Program End Date (section 3) on your current DS-2019. If you apply for an Extension of Stay after the Program End Date on your current DS-2019, your application will be denied. Failure to file a timely application will therefore result in violation of J-1 Status.
We cannot guarantee that your information will be entered into the SEVIS system before your Program End Date unless you submit your documents to us at least 10 business days prior to your current DS-2019 Program End Date.
Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ISS processing times for this request are longer than usual. Please refer to our COVID-19 FAQ page and check the ISS Services section for details.
Talk to your academic advisor to plan your DS-2019 extension. Creating a academic plan is an important part of extending your stay as a student. Once your plan is confirmed, please ask your advisor to complete the required recommendation form.
Login to your student HUB center and enroll the number of credits as described in your advisor’s recommendation form (if the enrollment window is open).
If it’s less than 12 credits (or 6 credits if summer is your final semester), please be sure to discuss with your academic department if you are eligible to apply for Full-Time Certification or if you might need a Reduced Course Load to meet the full-time enrollment requirements.
For additional information on enrollment requirements read our information on Maintaining J-1 Status.
We recommend that you submit your application at least 10 business days before your DS-2019 Program End Date.
After completing this e-form, ISS will send you an estimate of how much financial support you need to show.
ISS will calculate the total amount of financial support that you must document for an Extension of Stay depending upon the number of credit hours you need to complete your program and the number of months / semesters you require to finish your program. You will receive your estimate after submitting your extension request as described above.
After submitting Step 2, an International Student Advisor will review your request. If eligible for a DS-2019 Extension of Stay, you will be issued a new DS-2019 with a future Program End Date.
Please keep your new DS-2019 and all of your previous DS-2019’s. Do not throw away your old DS-2019's as they are an important piece of your immigration history!
You should carry all of your DS-2019’s when traveling because you may be required to present them as proof of your immigration history.
If you apply for a waiver of the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement (INA 212e), and your waiver is recommended in writing by the U.S. Department of State (“No Objection Statement”) or you receive Form I-612 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you are no longer eligible for any J-1 benefits (DS-2019 Extension, Academic Training, SEVIS Transfer, etc.). Therefore, please consult with ISS before applying for the waiver. Since 212(e) waiver applications can be complex, we also recommend that you seek assistance from an experienced immigration attorney.
Full-Time Certification vs Reduced Course Load: What's the Difference?
If you are a graduate student near the end of your program you may be eligible. Contact your department’s graduate coordinator (before the semester begins) to see if you qualify. If you qualify, you will file a form with your academic department and the Graduate School.
The Graduate School has Full-Time Certification forms on their website.
If you are an F-1 student who meets the eligibility requirements for one of the three types of Reduced Course loads, you may apply for this benefit through ISS.