If you and your employer both feel the program is going well, it may be possible to extend your program. Interns and Hospitality Trainees may remain in the U.S. for up to 12 months total, and all other Trainees may stay for up to 18 months total. For example, if you are currently in the U.S. on a six-month internship visa, you may apply to extend your program for an additional six months up to the maximum 12 months permitted for internship visas. If your host employer cannot extend your employment, you may extend your program with a new host employer. In this case, you would need to find a new host employer and complete the change of host section of the extension application as well.
Important: Contact us at least two to three months in advance to discuss your situation and to start an application. You will be able to access the extension application by logging into your online account 30 to 60 days before your program ends. You must submit your completed extension application 30 to 60 days before your original program ends, or we will be unable to accept your extension application. If approved, you will be issued a new DS-2019 Form to cover your extension period. If you change host companies during your extension, your new host company’s name and address will appear as the Primary Site of Activity Address on your new DS-2019 Form. You will also need to keep your old form with your new DS-2019 Form.
Note: If your extension application is approved, only your dates of eligibility to intern/train will be extended. Your visa will not be extended. If you leave the U.S. during your extension period and your visa has expired, you will be required to return to the embassy or consulate in your home country to obtain a new J-1 Visa before returning to the U.S. Check the expiration date on the J-1 Visa sticker in your passport; if you plan to travel after this expiration date, you will need to apply for a new visa in order to re-enter the U.S. Make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork to apply for a new visa while abroad and remember to always have your travel-validated DS-2019 Form, along with your passport and I-94 printout or card. If you remain in the U.S. during your extension period, no further visas will be required. Please note that obtaining a new visa is not guaranteed, and InterExchange has no jurisdiction to influence this decision.
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