International students in J-1 status may apply for an extension if there is a compelling academic or medical reason for requiring additional time to complete the program.
Students must have maintained legal J-1 status continually throughout their academic program.
Academic suspensions or probation are not considered acceptable reasons for a program extension.
The application for an extension should be made 60 to 90 days in advance of the current program completion date to allow adequate time to process a new Form DS-2019.
If the student applies for an extension after the current program completion date, the student will be out of status and have to apply for reinstatement, a difficult and lengthy process.