How to Extend Your J-1 Visa
Hi! I'm Bregtje, InterExchange's intern from Holland. I started on a 7-month program with InterExchange, but wanted to stay longer and learn more. InterExchange offered me a program extension within a different department. This turned out to be a blessing because now I can enjoy the entire 12 months of the internship to the fullest. If you'd like to extend your J-1 Visa, I can tell you how.
How do I extend my J-1 Intern/Trainee Visa?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about eligibility and for all the forms you need.
When you receive an extension offer at the company you currently intern or train at, make sure that the extended period of time will be completed with learning new tasks. A transfer to a different department within your company is a perfect solution.
Have plans to travel out of the USA?
Before you accept this extension offer, take a look at your J-1 Visa because I am positive that in most cases your visa will expire during your extension program. This however, should not be a problem. Do you need to travel outside the USA during your extension? If the answer is yes, then you have to renew your J-1 Visa in your passport, so that you can re-enter the USA when you return from your trip abroad. You must re-new your visa outside the USA, preferably in your home country.
Make an appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate, take along your new DS-2019 and any supporting documents and they will place a new visa in your passport that covers the time frame of your internship/traineeship extension. This process is just like obtaining the J-1 Visa before you started your internship/traineeship. If you are uncertain if you will be granted this new visa, then contact InterExchange before you leave the USA.
I had the chance to visit my family in Holland before my visa expired. When I travelled back to New York I had 3 days remaining before my visa would expire, but with my new DS-2019 form, I experienced a smooth return back into the USA.
No plans to travel out of the USA?
Let's talk more about the easy aspects of extending your program. If you do not have any plans to travel outside the USA after your visa expires, then you do not have to re-new any documents at an Embassy or Consulate, you just need to complete the extension application with InterExchange.
The new DS-2019 form that InterExchange will provide to you after they approve your extension will enable you to move freely across the USA. This is what I did, and what I am still doing! Together with InterExchange, we extended my internship and with my new position with the Business Development team, I travel throughout the country every month.
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