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What is the duration and extension period for a J1 visa?

The duration of stay for J-1 visa holders depends on the visitor exchange program. There are maximum duration limits for each J-1 category. The categories and the duration of stay are as follows:

  • College professors: 36 months
  • Research scholars: 36 months
  • Teachers (primary and secondary schools): 36 months
  • Flight aviation program trainees: 24 months
  • Business trainees: 18 months
  • Students: College and university students are provided 18 months of training period in case of baccalaureate/masters degree and post-doctoral students are provided a period of 36 months.
  • Government and international visitors: 12 months
  • Au pair: 12 months
  • Summer work: 4 months

The J-1 visa can be extended by the original J-1 sponsor who issued the Form IAP-66. A new IAP-66 has to be completed in order to extend the duration of stay in the U.S. In this case, the sponsor must notify the DOS regarding the extension. There is no need to notify the USCIS. Extension is possible only if the duration falls within the maximum duration of stay for that particular category.

For professors and researchers, a special extension is applicable for a duration of 6 months, even after completing the three years of maximum duration. If the sponsor requires the professor or the researcher to stay in the U.S. for an additional period, they can do so upon their own discretion. This does not require approval from the DOS or USCIS. Professors and researchers can also apply for an extension period through the DOS. This must be done 90 days prior to the expiration of the three-year period of stay.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

Updated on January 15, 2020

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