Overview

Students in J-1 status who find they need additional time to finish their academic program beyond the end date on the Form DS-2019, must apply for an extension of stay in order to remain in the U.S. in lawful status. Extensions may only be authorized if the reason for the delay satisfies the lawful requirements for an extension as set forth in the U.S. immigration regulations.

If your program sponsor is other than Pitt, please consult that agency about extending your DS-2019.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must apply for the extension prior to the program end date
  • Must be in-status and have continually maintained status
  • Must be making normal progress toward degree completion
  • Must provide sufficient financial documentation for time sought
  • Non-Degree students are only eligible to stay for up to 24 months/upon approval from sponsor and if applicable the home university/exchange partner.

How to Apply

In order to maintain status, extension requests must be approved prior to the program end date on your current Form DS-2019. To allow adequate processing time, OIS recommends completing your J-1 extension request at least 30 days prior to your DS-2019 end date.

If you have an DS-2019 end date during the summer term (i.e. between May 1 and September 1) and require an extension, OIS recommends submission of your extension request before June 1.

Step 1: Meet with your academic advisor to inquire about your academic eligibility to extend.  Let your advisor know that he/she will receive an email from the My OIS system requesting him/her to complete a recommendation form online.

Step 2: Log into My OIS

Step 3: Under “J-1 Student Services,” review the “J-1 Student Extension” section.

You will be required to complete the two components for the extension: (1) “J-1 Extension Request” and (2) “Certification of Financial Responsibility” section.

Step 4: “J-1 Extension Request” requires you to enter in your academic advisor’s name and email.

Step 5: “Certification of Financial Responsibility” requires you to provide documentation that you or your sponsor(s) can support your tuition and living expenses. Any individual sponsor(s) will be emailed a request to confirm their intention to provide financial support for you. This must be completed in order to process your extension.

Each year the amount of tuition and living expenses are subject to change- the current requirements are listed in My OIS. If you are staying less than a year, you may pro-rate your living and dependent expenses. The requirements for the financial documents are below:

  • All proof of financial support must be in English or accompanied by an English translation.
  • All proof of financial support must state amounts and clearly state the date that the documentation was written or printed.
  • All financial resources must be in liquid assets. OIS cannot accept real estate or other personal property.
  • OIS reserves the right to request original documentation

OIS will process your application within 5 business days of receipt of all materials. Once approved, OIS will email you to pick up your new DS-2019.

If you have questions about using My OIS, please refer to our informational short video on our website: http://www.ois.pitt.edu/media/ You can also come in to our office during Walk-In Hours.