Student Immigration Definitions

Obtaining J-1 Exchange Visitor
Student Category Status at Columbia

Transfer of J-1 Supervision

Change of Status to F-1

Potential Delays in Visa Issuance


Student Tax Information

Message for Canadian Students

Maintaining J-1 Status

DS-2019 Recertification

Health Insurance Overview for J-1 Students

J-1 Travel Information

DHS Information on Arrival Problems

J-1 Extension of Stay (Current Program)

J-1 Extension of Stay to Begin New Program


J-1 Work Opportunities

J-1 On-Campus Work Request

J-1 Academic Training

Employment Authorization for J-2

J-1 Leave of Absence, Suspension or Withdrawal

Student Departure Information

Home Country Residency Requirement

Reduced Course Load Request

Address Change Form

J-1 Student Extension of Stay for Current Program

If you will be unable to complete your degree program before the expiration date on your DS-2019, you will need to request an extension. The expiration date of your DS-2019 is recorded in Item 3 which reads, "This form covers the period mm/dd/yyyy to mm/dd/yyyy". The later date is your expected completion date and is recorded in SEVIS.

Extensions must be completed before the expiration date of your DS-2019; however, you can request the extension several months in advance if you know you will not be able to complete your program as expected. Failure to request an extension prior to the expiration date of your DS-2019 will result in a violation of your J-1 status.

All requests for extensions should be made no later than 10 days before the expiration date on your DS-2019.

Eligibility: You may be eligible for an extension of stay if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You must be in lawful J-1 status.
  2. Your DS-2019 must have been issued by Columbia University.
If your DS-2019 is not issued by Columbia University, you must speak with your current program sponsor to request the extension.

Procedure: You must bring the following documents to receive the extension:

  1. Financial documentation showing adequate resources to pay for tuition, fees, and living expenses for one year of study or the remaining length of your studies, whichever is shorter
  2. All DS-2019s previously issued to you, passport, and I-94 card.
  3. Documentation establishing valid reasons to continue beyond your DS-2019 time limit. This documentation will be a letter to the ISSO from either your advisor* stating the academic reasons for your need to extend your stay at Columbia and the expected date of completion of your program of study, or your school or department reflecting approval of your request for a reduced course load or medical leave of absence based on a physician's certification. Examples of compelling academic reasons contributing to a delay in completion include changes of major or research topic or unexpected research problems.

    *If you are a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, all requests for an extension must come from your Director of Graduate Studies, not your advisor.

An ISSO advisor will review the documentation to determine that you are eligible for the extension. A new DS-2019 will be created for you, and you will be notified by email when it is ready. Please allow 5 business days for the DS-2019 to be processed.

Last Reviewed: 22 February 2011 Last modified:22 February 2011
International Students and Scholars Office
Columbia University