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If you are not able to finish your degree program by the end date noted on your I-20 or DS 2019, you can request an extension of your program. The length of time allowed for an extension is based on the recommendation of your academic adviser. J-1 sponsored students may need additional approval from their sponsor prior to being able to extend their stay in the U.S.
An extension of your I-20 or DS-2019 must be completed before the end date of the document. If your I-20 or DS-2019 expires while you are still a student, you will be considered in violation of your status.
If a J-1 exchange visitor must have an extension of stay to complete the program for which he or she was admitted to the US, a request for a program extension must be filed with his or her program sponsor prior to the expiration date on the DS-2019. Extension periods allowed vary depending on the category of exchange visitor.
J-1 students with a DS-2019 issued by Fulbright or similar non-RIT organization must request a program extension through their J-1 sponsor.