Visa, Other J-1 Visitor, Student Visa Extension

  1. This article will answer common questions about J-1 visa extensions, including concerns about how it may affect the status of your spouse and dependent children. You will learn more about how to obtain a J-1 visa extensions, the two year return requirement, getting a copy of your DSP/IAP-66 form, fees and how the extension request may concern a J-2 visa holder.

    What are the basic requirements of the J-1 student exchange visa?

    J-1 visas require that those aliens in the U.S. for a student exchange program are to return to their home country for a minimum of 2 years when they have finished their studies or academic training. This 2 year return requirement applies to those who have received government funding or travel grants from your home government or the U.S. government. This return to residency requirement in your home country must be completed before you are allowed to come back to the U.S. on another type of visa.

    Are there any extension of stays allowed?

    If you have not been able to finish your course of study in time, you can file a request for an extension of stay of your J-1 visa.

    How do request an extension of stay?

    You should contact the Program Branch in Bureau of Education, Cultural Exchanges and Academic Programs. You will need to support your request by a letter from your school that will give the reason for the extension and the date upon which you are expected to graduate, along with the amount and source of funding that will be available to you for that time period. This request must be submitted by fore the end date on your DS-2019.

    How do you get the 30-day voluntary departure status extension?

    Contact the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for a 30-day extension post-program, voluntary departure status.

    Where can I get information about a visa extension beyond the maximum limitation of stay?

    There will be a contact person that is the responsible officer at your school that you can ask about the process for a longer extension.

    I lost my copy of the DSP/IAP-66 form. Where can I get another copy?

    The responsible officer or alternative responsible officer of the exchange visitor program that you were involved in during your stay on the J-1 visa should have a copy of your lost DSP/IAP-66 form that they can give you.

    Does the 2 year return to home residency requirement also apply to a J-2 spouse or child?

    Yes, both the J-2 spouse and child are subject to the same requirements as the J-1 exchange visitor.

    Does a waiver of the 2 year home residence requirement also include a spouse/child?

    Yes, once the J-1 applies for the waiver and it is approved, his or her family members will receive a waiver too.

    Can a J-2 visa holder apply for 2 year home residence requirement waiver apart from the J-1?

    You can request a waiver independently from the J-1 if there has been the death of the J-1, a divorce while in the U.S. or you are a child who reaches the age of 21. Send your request to the Waiver Review Division with a completed data sheet along with the DSP/IAP-66 form of the J-1. Also send any divorce decree or death certificate if applicable. A child who has turned 21 should send a copy of his or her birth certificate.

    Does everyone have to pay a processing fee for an extension?

    No, only the J-1, not a spouse or dependent child.

    If I get a denial and then reapply for the waiver, will I have to pay the processing fee again?

    yes, upon re-submitting your application for an extension, the processing fee will be required again.

    How much is the processing fee?

    The fee $136 U.S. currency paid in the form of a cashier’s check or postal money order that is drawn on a U.S. financial institution. The check or money order is to be made out to the U.S. Department of State.

    What is the address to send the processing fee and when should it be sent?

    Send your check or money order for the fee when you begin the application process:

    The address to send the fee is:

    US Department of State
    Waiver Review Division
    P. O. Box 952137
    St. Louis, MO 63195-2137​

    Should a copy of the data sheet be faxed or mailed to the Review Division?

    No, do not mail or fax it. It will only be accepted if it is sent by the bank in St. Louis. It will not be processed by the Waiver Review Division if you fax or mail a copy.

    How will I know if the Waiver Review Division received my documents?

    Send al documents by certified or registered mail. Remember to write your waiver case number on the outside of the envelope as well as on your documentation papers.

    How do I get information the status of my application?

    You can check on the status by calling the Waiver Review Division at 202-633-1600. Be aware that if they need additional documentation from you, they will contact you directly and they will notify you when the final determination has been made in your case. However, in the event your waiver is not approved, you should prepare to return to your home country.
    Immigration Law:
    Visa Extension

    Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler
    Michael M. Wechsler is an experienced attorney, founder of, A. Research Scholar at Columbia Business School and of-counsel to Kaplan, Williams & Graffeo, LLC. He was also an SVP and chief Internet strategist at and legal consultant at Kroll Ontrack, a leading service e-discovery and computer forensics service provider.


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