Transfer and extension of J-1 Status -Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University

Transfer and extension of J-1 Status


Extension of J-1 status is common and relatively easy to accomplish. The Carnegie Mellon department must agree to the extension and will send a memo or email to the Office of International Education (OIE) requesting that the scholar's DS-2019 be extended. This typically occurs about one month in advance of the expiration of the current J-1 period.

The department's memo or email should include the following information:

  • The specific period of time being requested. The total period of a J-1 research scholar/professor's status can be no more than 5 years. The total period of a J-1 short term scholar's status can be no more than 6 months.
  • The extension end date. The new extension period must begin on the day after the current DS-2019 form ends.
  • The amount and source of support. If the financial support is not from CMU, then original financial documentation must be sent to OIE before the extension can be granted.

OIE notifies the US Department of State regarding the extension via the SEVIS immigration database. This extension process in OIE legally extends the scholar's J-1 status in the US. However, if the scholar will travel out of the US during the extension period, he or she will need to apply for a new J-1 visa at a US consulate in order to return to the US to resume J-1 activities. On the other hand, if the scholar will not travel outside the US during the extension period, then no J-1 entry visa is required, and the scholar has no need to apply for a new J-1 visa in the passport.


J-1 scholars may transfer in or out of CMU's J-1 program.

There are restrictions on J-1 transfer as follows:

  • The J-1 researcher or professor must pursue the same primary purpose as s/he pursued at the previous institution.
  • The J-1 visitor may not change categories i.e., from "student" to "research scholar."
  • Before the DS-2019 can be issued to the scholar, the previous program must release permission to transfer. Therefore, it benefits the scholar to communicate openly about the expected change. It is important to note that this adds extra time to the process.
  • The transfer process must be complete before the previous DS-2019 expires.

For current procedures, contact an OIE advisor.

Last updated:  January 10, 2017