Extensions and Transfers


Extension of J-1 exchange visitor stay

When to extend
Your permission to stay in the United States ends on the expiration date of your Form I-94 Departure Record card, unless the card is marked "Duration of Status" or "D/S." In that case, your permission to stay will expire 30 days after the date shown in item #3 of your Form DS-2019, "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status."

Your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO)
To extend your permission to stay in the United States, you must first obtain a new Form DS-2019 from your J-1 Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO). If your J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor is the University of Miami (UM), and your UM host department wants you to continue your current J-1 exchange visitor program beyond the expiration date on your current Form DS-2019, then your UM academic department needs to request an extension of your J-1 exchange visitor program by completing an electronic Form DS-2019 Request and submitting it to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) prior to the DS-2019 expiration date.

If your J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor is an organization other than UM, please contact your UM host department and your J-1 RO/ARO to inquire if and how your J-1 program can be extended.

Eligibility
You are eligible for an extension of stay if you continue to maintain your J-1 status, have adequate funding, have not obtained a recommendation for waiver of the two-year home country physical presence requirement from the U.S. Department of State, and have not yet reached the limit for maximum program duration in your J-1 program category:

  • Short-term scholar: 6 months
  • Research scholar: 5 years
  • Professor: 5 years
  • Specialist: 12 months
Procedures to apply for Extension of Stay
  1. At least two months before your permission to stay expires, contact your UM host department about an extension. If your J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor is the University of Miami and your UM host department wants you to continue your current J-1 exchange visitor program beyond the expiration date on your current Form DS-2019, then your UM host department needs to request an extension of your J-1 exchange visitor program by completing and submitting an electronic Form DS-2019 Request for processing by ISSS.
  2. Your J-1 exchange visitor program's RO/ARO will determine if you have maintained J-1 exchange visitor program status and are eligible for an extension of stay. If so, your RO/ARO will update your J-1 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record with the extended program information, including new program end date and financial information. This must be done before the expiration of your current Form DS-2019. Your RO/ARO will print and sign the updated Form DS-2019. If you have J-2 dependents in the U.S., your RO/ARO will also print and sign updated Forms DS-2019 for your J-2 dependents.
  3. Your J-1 RO/ARO will provide you with the updated Form(s) DS-2019 for you to sign and retain. Once you have received your new Form DS-2019 from your J-1 exchange visitor program's RO/ARO, your extension of stay is completed.
Travel and Reentry to U.S. after Extension of Stay
After you have extended your stay inside the country, avoid a common mistake if you travel abroad. Do not assume that with an approved extension of stay you can reenter this country without an unexpired J 1 visa stamp in your passport (unless you are Canadian). If your J-1 visa stamp has expired, you have to apply at a U.S. consulate for a new one in order to reenter the United States as a J-1 scholar except if you seek to reenter through a procedure referred to as "automatic revalidation of visa" described in the next paragraph.

"Automatic revalidation of visa" benefit: Under certain circumstances, you may reenter the U.S. with an expired visa as though the visa were still valid. An expired J-1 visa may be considered to be automatically extended to the date of application for readmission to the US (and therefore the visa in the passport need not have an expiration date that is in the future), provided you do the following:
  1. Apply for readmission to US after an absence not exceeding 30 days in contiguous territory (Canada or Mexico) or adjacent islands (Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherlands territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea other than Cuba);
  2. Maintain lawful J-1 status and intend to continue doing so;
  3. Present a valid passport containing Form I-94 which authorizes a stay beyond the date of entry (e.g., D/S);
  4. Present a properly endorsed SEVIS Form DS-2019.
Under these circumstances, you may be saved the necessity of applying for a new J-1 visa even if your visa has expired. An exchange visitor whose visa has been canceled or voided is not eligible for automatic revalidation of visa benefit. Citizens of "state sponsors of terrorism" cannot take advantage of the automatic revalidation benefit. Any nonimmigrant who chooses to apply for a new visa while in a contiguous territory is not eligible for the automatic revalidation benefit during the course of that trip, but has to wait until the visa is granted in order to enter the U.S.

A Word of Caution
Extension of your permission to stay 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 make certain that you apply well in advance (two months time is recommended) if you need to extend your stay.

Transfer between J-1 Program Sponsors

A transfer between J-1 program sponsors means changing from J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor in the U.S. to another for the purpose of continuing a current J-1 exchange visitor program. For example, you would require a program transfer if you were a J-1 scholar/exchange visitor at Duke University and were accepted to continue your current J-1 exchange visitor program at the University of Miami (UM).

A transfer to new J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor should not be construed as the beginning of a new program of activity with a new allotment of time. You remain subject to the time limitations set for your particular J-1 exchange visitor program category (short-term scholar: 6 months; research scholar: 5 years; professor: 5 years; specialist: 12 months) and will not be eligible for a transfer DS-2019 if the time limit has been reached.

Eligibility Requirements
A J-1 scholar/exchange visitor in any program category may transfer from one J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor to another if the following conditions are met:

  • The scholar has maintained their J-1 exchange visitor status; and
  • The scholar has not yet reached the maximum program duration for the J-1 exchange visitor program category in which they participate; and
  • The scholar remains within the same J-1 exchange visitor program category; and
  • The purpose of the transfer is to continue the objective for which they were admitted to exchange visitor status; and
  • The current J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor agrees to the program transfer and releases the scholar's SEVIS record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to the new J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor.

The transfer is accomplished through correspondence between the Responsible Officers (RO) of the two program sponsors and U.S. Department of State notification through SEVIS, and the issuance of a transfer Form DS-2019 by the new J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor.

If a J-1 scholar/exchange visitor has not maintained their J-1 exchange visitor status or fails to complete a transfer prior to the expiration date in item #3 on the current Form DS-2019, they are considered to be out-of-status and must apply for reinstatement to J-1 exchange visitor status through the J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor. Please consult with your International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) advisor for further information on reinstatement to J-1 exchange visitor status.

Program Transfer Procedure from another J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor to the University of Miami's J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
In order to transfer to UM's exchange visitor program, you must inform the International Scholar Advisor at your current school and your J-1 excgange visitor program sponsor (in case they are different) of your intention to transfer to UM. If you are accepted by a UM host department to transfer to UM for the purpose of continuing your current J-1 exchange visitor program, then your UM host department must complete and submit an electronic Form DS-2019 Request to request a transfer DS-2019 for you.

Upon receipt and review of the electronic Form DS-2019 Request, ISSS contacts your current J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor to request that your SEVIS record be released to the UM on a specific date. Please note that the transfer release date must be prior to the current program expiration date in item #3 on your Form DS-2019. A transfer cannot be authorized after the current program expiration date in item #3 on your Form DS-2019. If your current J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor agrees to the program transfer and releases your SEVIS record to UM, then your SEVIS record will become available to UM on the date of the approved transfer release. ISSS will contact you via e-mail with details regarding the transfer process and issuance of your UM Form(s) DS-2019.

Upon receipt of your transfer DS-2019, you will be directed to the appropriate office to complete Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), which is required of all J-1 scholars at UM prior to the start of their J-1 activity at UM. Form I-9 must be completed at the following office:

  • For scholars (faculty) in academic departments at the Coral Gables Campus: Coral Gables Faculty Affairs
  • For scholars (researchers) in academic departments at the Coral Gables Campus: Human Resources
  • For scholars in academic departments at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS): RSMAS Dean's Office
  • For scholars in academic departments at the Miller School of Medicine: Medical Faculty Affairs
School Transfer Procedure from UM's J-1 Exchange Visitor Program to another J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
If you are currently participating in the University of Miami's J-1 exchange visitor program and wish to transfer to another J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor in the U.S., you must do the following prior to the expiration of your current Form DS-2019:
  1. Inform the UM host department faculty member who is hosting and supervising you at UM of your desire to transfer to another J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor in the U.S. and request their approval for the transfer. If your UM host department faculty member does not agree to the transfer, then you cannot transfer to another J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor.
  2. If your UM host department faculty member agrees to the transfer, contact the department in charge of J-1 SEVIS records at the J-1 exchange visitor program you wish to transfer to and ask them to contact Claudia Zitzmann, Director, Scholar Services, ISSS, at czitzmann@miami.edu to request a transfer release of your SEVIS record to the new J-1 exchange visitor program. Also, click here to access, complete and submit the online Transfer Out Request for Exchange Visitors in J-1 Status to ISSS for processing. If your UM host department faculty member has agreed to the transfer, and if ISSS determines that you are eligible for a transfer, your SEVIS record will be released to the new J-1 exchange visitor program at an agreed upon date. The new J-1 exchange visitor program will not be able to access your SEVIS record and will not be able to issue a transfer Form DS-2019 for you until this date has arrived.
  3. Once your SEVIS record has been released to the new J-1 exchange visitor program, they will provide you with instructions for receiving your transfer Form(s) DS-2019 and activating your SEVIS record.