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Administrative Staff

G-7 Program: J-1 Extensions Beyond 5 Years

Participation in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program in the "Research Scholar" category is generally limited to five years. In rare cases, an Exchange Visitor Program may be extended beyond the five-year maximum duration. The U.S. Department of State has granted provisional approval to NIH to request this type of extension through its additional J-1 program, known as the "G-7" program.

Any NIH Institute/Center (IC) may request a G-7 program extension when there is compelling scientific need to retain a J-1 Exchange Visitor to successfully complete a research project.

Refer to our G-7 Checklist and G-7 Flowchart for additional guidance on submitting G-7 requests to DIS.

Request Timeline: Requests for a G-7 program extension beyond the five-year maximum in J-1 status must be submitted to DIS at least six months prior to the end of the scientist's fifth year in J-1 status due to the lengthy review process.

Request Submission Tips

All required documentation for G-7 extension requests are listed on our G-7 Checklist. See below for additional tips on G-7 request preparation: 

Duration of G-7 extension  

The requested duration of the extension should be consistent with the time specified on the NIH Form 829-1 and represent a commitment of programmatic and financial support for the specified period. Consider the maximum amount of time necessary for the scientist to complete the research project. G-7 extension requests are closely scrutinized and are costly, so additional extensions may be difficult to obtain.

In certain scenarios, ICs may request G-7 extensions in excess of the 2-year maximum fellowship renewal duration (as dictated by the Visiting Fellow Manual Chapter), as G-7 requests are all routed to the Office of Intramural Research (OIR) for approval. The duration of a G-7 extension request cannot exceed five years. See additional "Policy Considerations" below. 


Must be signed by IC Scientific Director and Supervisor/Sponsor.

Must be addressed to "NIH G-7 Peer Review Committee, Office of Intramural Research (OIR)."

Must describe:

  • Current training program
    • Include the length of time Exchange Visitor has been at NIH in specific NIH designation(s). The description must discuss why the individual came to NIH, detailing educational and training/research objectives. Discuss the mentoring provided by IC supervisor/sponsor to help the Exchange Visitor meet research objectives. Note specific evidence of productivity (publications, presentations), recognition (awards), and training (courses).
  • Why additional time is needed and what will be accomplished during the extension period
    • Must specifically state that the Exchange Visitor's "continued involvement in the government research project is beneficial to its successful conclusion."
    • Discuss how the research program meets the individual's original training/research objectives, and why the additional time is needed to conclude government research in this area. What would happen to the IC's research program if the individual had to leave by his/her fifth year of J-1 time? Extensions may be warranted because of the complicated and long-term nature of the experiments.
  • How additional time will benefit Exchange Visitor in the home country
    • Discuss the importance of the additional training to the future career plans of the Exchange Visitor that help to fulfill NIH's mission of training scientists worldwide. Elaborate on the Exchange Visitor's job search activities to date.
    • Note: J-1 Exchange Visitors, including those in the G-7 Program, are expected to return home upon completion of their training program (i.e., fulfill the two-year home-country physical residence requirement).

Career Development Plan 

Submit a copy of the Career Development Plan (CDP), which must be in place by the end of the scientist's fourth year at NIH. If the scientist has not yet entered their fifth year at NIH, you may submit the most recent annual progress evaluation.

Must be written by IC Sponsor/Supervisor and signed by Exchange Visitor, Sponsor/Supervisor, and Scientific Director.

Must describe the following:

  • How the Exchange Visitor will be mentored to meet training and career objectives
  • Exchange Visitor's promise for a scientific career, including evidence of publications; publications in preparation; and/or substantial evidence for preparation for a career in a science-related field
  • Plans for subsequent employment after completion of NIH research program
Policy Considerations

DIS will forward recommended G-7 extension requests to the Office of Intramural Research (OIR) for peer-review. If peer-review is favorable, DIS will submit the extension request to the Department of State (DOS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for final review. A recommendation by NIH does not guarantee final approval by DOS and DHS. If DOS/DHS approves the request, DIS will prepare the necessary documents to extend the J-1 status and the award or appointment.

NIH policy must be considered with use of the G-7 program. If the G-7 request requires an exception to NIH policy, such as the 5-Year/ 8-Year Duration Rule, consider the additional preparation and time involved in the process and review OIR guidance on Exceptional 6th Year Extensions of Visiting Fellowships and the Postdoctoral Fellows Temporary Exceptional Extensions Policy

NOTE: When applying for a G-7 extension, the scientist must attest that s/he has not applied for a waiver of the two-year home country residence requirement. If DIS is notified by DOS that a candidate has initiated a waiver request during the G-7 review process, the G-7 extension will be canceled.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should G-7 cases be submitted to DIS? 

Requests for a G-7 program extension beyond the five-year maximum in J-1 status must be submitted to DIS at least six months prior to the end of the scientist's fifth year in J-1 status.  

Why must G-7 cases be submitted to DIS at least six months prior to the scientist's NTE? 

The cases must be received so far in advance due to the lengthy review process by the DIS G-7 Review Committee, the OIR G-7 Peer Review Committee, Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security. See our flowchart for more details. 

Are all J-1 Exchange Visitors in the G-7 program required to leave NIH for two years following completion of the G-7 program? 

No. Participants in the G-7 program are not automatically required to spend two years away from NIH upon program completion. However, any scientist that benefits from an exceptional extension of a post-doctoral fellowship must leave NIH for a two-year period upon program completion. If participation in the G-7 program does not require an exception to the 5-Year/ 8-Year Duration Rule, the scientist may be eligible to remain at NIH upon conclusion of the G-7 program. 

What are the most common types of G-7 cases? 

There are three common types of G-7 cases: 1. Exceptional extension of fellowship (6th year or 3-month duration), 2. Pre-doctoral fellow to post-doctoral fellow, and 3. Previous J-1 transfer to NIH from another institution.  

Can I apply for a J-1 waiver after I am granted a G-7 extension? 

Participation in the G-7 program does not impact scientists' ability to apply for a waiver of the 212(e) Two-Year Home Residence Requirement in the future. However, it is inappropriate for this extension to be used as a "bridge" to gain additional time to apply for a waiver.  

Do G-7 program participants obtain a new immigration status? 

No. Participants in the G-7 program remain in J-1 status. Any J-2 dependents of the J-1 Exchange Visitor maintain their J-2 status. J-1 Exchange Visitors and J-2 dependents remain subject to J program restrictions and any other benefits and/or restrictions imposed by participation in a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. 

I am a participant the J-1 G-7 program at NIH and will travel abroad for the first time since my G-7 extension. What do I need to travel? 

Participants in the G-7 program remain in J-1 status and must travel internationally with all current J-1 documents. Consult the general DIS guidance on J-1 Travel and J-1 Visa Renewal. 

I am a participant the J-1 G-7 program at NIH. Can I transfer my J-1 to another institution? 

No. The G-7 program is used by NIH to grant extensions beyond the five-year maximum duration when there is compelling NIH scientific need to retain the Exchange Visitor to successfully complete a NIH research project. 

Revised 06/2023​

DIS Info

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