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Program Extension for J-1 Students

As an international student in J-1 immigration status, you have been admitted into the United States for "duration of status," which is noted on your I-94 Departure Record (the small white card in your passport) as "J-1, D/S."  This means that as long as you maintain a full course of study, or the ISSO has granted you Academic Training employement authorization following successful completion of your program, you may continue to remain lawfully in the U.S. in J-1 status.

However, you have been given a limited amount of time by Boston University to complete your studies.  This time limit can be found in Section 3 of your Form DS-2019, where it states the beginning and ending dates of your exchange program.  Please pay attention to the program end date.

If you know that you will be unable to complete your program within the time provided, you should contact the ISSO at least one month prior to your current DS-2019 program end date to request a new DS-2019 for Program Extension.

If you fail to process a new DS-2019 for Program Extension before your current DS-2019 expires, or you are otherwise determined to be ineligible, you will be considered out of status and may have to file for J-1 Reinstatement with the U.S. Department of State.

To determine if you are eligible for a Program Extension, an ISSO advisor will evaluate the following:

  1. That you are currently maintaining lawful J-1 immigration status.

  2. You are permitted by your academic department to continue full-time enrollment in your program of study.

  3. You possess sufficient funding to meet the tuition, fees and cost-of-living expenses for the period of the requested extension.
Requesting a New DS-2019 for Program Extension
If you will need more time to complete your program of study than is permitted by the program end date in section 3 of your current Form DS-2019, please follow these steps:
  1. Download and print the Program Extension Checklist and Academic Advisor's Recommendation for Program Extension and have it completed by your academic advisor.  This form can also be picked up at the ISSO.

  2. Request that your academic advisor complete the Academic Advisor's Recommendation for Program Extension form.

  3. Assemble proof that you have sufficient funds to cover the expenses for tuition, fees and cost-of-living for the Program Extension period you are requesting.

    If the funding is your own, you need only submit a bank letter or statement verifying funds.  If you are sponsored (e.g. by your parents), your sponsor will need to provide their bank documentation, plus a letter of financial support that verifies they will provide funding for your tuition/fees and living expenses while you are at Boston University. For your convenience, Boston University has prepared a Sponsorship Certification Form for this purpose. 

    Delays in obtaining financial documentation from abroad do not justify allowing your DS-2019 to expire without a timely Program Extension.  You are strongly advised to request letters verifying continued financial support well in advance of the expiration of your current DS-2019, especially if you rely on sponsorship from an international agency or your home government.

    All financial documents must be written in English and show the amounts converted into U.S. dollars.  Click here to review the Estimate of Expenses to determine the amount of funds you must have available.

  4. Bring the above documentation to the ISSO along with your current DS-2019, passport, J-1 visa and I-94 card (do not bring copies).   Ask to fill out a Request Form for a DS-2019 Program Extension.

Once the ISSO has received a completed extension application (i.e., all required documents submitted), please allow ten (10) business days for processing.



Boston University
February 28, 2005

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office