International Scholar Relations

Extending the Program

When to Extend

With the approval of your academic department, your permission to stay in the United States may be extended, provided there is still funding for your program. It will not, however, be possible to extend your J-1 program beyond five years. After completing your J-1 program, you may be required to leave the U.S. for two years before you would be eligible for another J-1 visa, for an H-1B (working) visa or for Permanent Resident status in the U.S. In many cases, these two years must be spent in your home country. If you have any questions or concerns about these regulations, we urge you to contact us before you come to the U.S.

We encourage you to read the information regarding the 212(e) 2-year home residency requirement as well as the 2-year bar on repeat participation as a Research Scholar/Professor posted on our website.

To extend your stay, your sponsoring department must notify in writing their intent to extend your program. Proof of health insurance and adequate financial support must accompany the letter. If materials are sufficient and you are eligible for an extension; notify the J-1 RO/ARO J1Program@westernu.edu and they will generate a new form DS-2019 to extend your stay at WEsternU and in the U.S. .

NOTE: Extension of your permission to stay (extension of your DS-2019) is your responsibility. If you forget the deadline and apply late, you risk denial. If you are employed and overlook the date, you will be working illegally. Since such mistakes can have serious consequences, you should talk to your immediate supervisor to ensure at least 45 days advance notice to extend your stay.


You are eligible to apply for an extension of stay, if you:

  • are working toward the objective shown on your most recent Form DS-2019;
  • are maintaining your status as a J-1 International Scholar;
  • can demonstrate adequate funding for the period of the proposed extension; and
  • can demonstrate health insurance for the period of the proposed extension that meets Department of State requirements.

Your extension will not carry you beyond five (5) years in status as a J-1 Visiting Professor or Research Scholar. If you need to stay longer than five (5) years, consult the J-1 RO/ARO at J1Program@westernu.edu

Traveling Abroad During Your Extension

If you leave North America you will need a valid J-1 visa stamp to reenter this country (unless you are Canadian). If yours has expired, you will have to apply for a new one at a United States consulate abroad. The Visa Officer will want to see your Form DS-2019, your passport, and those of your dependents if they will be accompanying you. If you are being paid by Western University, the Visa Office may want to see proof of funding in the form of an appointment letter from your WesternU host department.  When your funding does not come directly from WesternU, we recommend a letter of award or support, a bank statement, documentation of income, etc. Your dependents will need to renew J-2 visas for re-entry, if they have expired. Also, you should be prepared to show proof of marriage to your spouse and parenthood of each child. In addition, we recommend that you travel with a copy of your CV/Resume with a complete publications list to verify questions from the embassy consulate about your field of research or teaching.

Updated:  August 2015