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DIS Title Divider Visiting Scientists Title Divider Extending Your J-1 Exchange Visitor Status
​​​Visiting Program Scientists
Extending Your J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) Program

General Extension Information

The end date listed on your Form DS-2019 (see box 3 "to" on your form) is the end date of your J-1 EV program. DIS must extend this date beforehand if you need more time to complete your research program objective at the NIH. An overview of this process can be found here

Extension of the J-1 EV program is processed internally by DIS and does not require you to leave the United States. DIS can process extensions up to six months before the current J-1 EV end date. We also process two-year extensions upon Institute/Center (IC) request, as long as there is no conflict with NIH and J-1 EV policies.

Your J-1 EV category (see box 4 on your Form DS-2019) determines how long you can stay in the U.S. in J-1 status. Typically, J-1 Research Scholars are allowed up to five years and J-1 Short-Term Scholars are allowed up to six months total.


J1_Sample graphic 

Please note: If the program sponsor (see box 2 on your Form DS-2019) is not NIH, your J-1 extension must be processed by that sponsor (e.g. Fulbright).

Steps to extend your J-1 EV program

The steps to extend your J-1 EV program are listed below:

  1. Obtain approval from your lab supervisor to extend your program at NIH. We recommend discussing your possible extension at least six months before the end date listed on your Form DS-2019.

  2. Your IC administrative contact must send a renewal case to DIS per the appropriate checklist. DIS provides guidance on case preparation for administrative staff.

  3. An Immigration Specialist at DIS will process the renewal case within 3​5 business days, per DIS processing times. The Immigration Specialist will create an updated Form DS-2019 for you (and J-2 dependents, if applicable) with the new end date.

  4. You will receive an email from DIS with a new Notice of Action when the renewal case is approved and processed. You can come pick up updated documents (e.g. Form DS-2019) at the DIS office. DIS will also update your NIH ID badge work authorization end date and any other applicable NIH databases.

    If you do not work on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, DIS will ship the updated Form DS-2019(s) to your IC administrative contact.


The J-1 visa in your passport is an entry document needed to re-enter to the United States after international travel. Though you typically need a valid J-1 visa to enter the country you do not need a valid visa to remain in the country. The visa can expire while you are inside the United States but your Form DS-2019 and I-94 must remain valid.

If DIS extends your J-1 EV program and you receive an updated Form DS-2019, your J-1 visa end date is not automatically extended. The visa end date is always listed in the visa in your passport (see below). You can only renew the visa abroad at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

J1 Visa Picture  

When you plan to travel outside of the United States, do not forget to check if you need to apply for a new visa before re-entering the country. See DIS guidance on how to obtain a J-1 visa.

Please refer to DIS guidance on travel when you plan any international travel.

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