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Length of Stay

This page explains how your length of stay (duration of status) in the U.S. is determined, and how to extend your stay.

Duration of Status

Students on a J-1 visa are admitted to the United States for a specific period of time.  This time is called "duration of status” (the notation D/S is recorded in the student’s passport and and on the I-94 record).  “Duration of status” means that the student may legally remain in the United States as long as the student’s J-1 status is valid, meaning that:

  • The student’s DS-2019 is active (the ending date of the DS-2019 is a future date);
  • The student is enrolled full-time and meeting all the requirements of his or her program of study;
  • The student is obeying the J-1 regulations;
  • The student may be working in authorized "academic training" after completing studies.

When the student arrives in the U.S., either at the airport or another port of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents grant duration of status to J-1 students by entering the date of arrival in the U.S. and the notation "D/S" (Duration of Status) on one or more of the following documents:

  1. In the passport, usually near the entry visa;
  2. On the Form I-94 Admissions Record; (See I-94 Process
  3. Sometimes on the DS-2019 form.

Extending your stay

Although DS-2019 Forms are generally issued for the length of the academic program up to 12 months or longer, some students complete their program of study sooner, within the 9-month academic year.  Other students need additional time to complete their studies beyond the program end date indicated on the DS-2019.  In this case an extension of the DS-2019 may be possible if you are continuing as a student in the same or a similar educational activity.

Please note that extensions must be requested and approved through the ISSC at least 30 days before the end date on the current DS-2019.  If a student fails to request a Program Extension before the current DS-2019 expires, the student will not be eligible for the extension and may have to file for reinstatement with the Department of State. Avoiding Immigration Scams

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