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International Student and Scholar Support

J-1 Changes and Extensions

Any changes made to a Scholar’s program must be reported to ISSS. Most of these changes will be reported by the host department. A few examples of these changes are: a change in site of activity, a change in pay, a change in pay status, a change supervisor. On this page, you will find more information about program extensions, program transfers and what to do when completing the program early.

Program Extension

The duration of the Exchange Visitor’s program is stated in item 3 of the Form DS-2019. You can extend your DS-2019 if it is necessary to meet your program goals. The DS-2019 end date can be extended by ISSS to the limit allowed by law for your particular J-1 category (up to five years for persons in the Research Scholar or Professor categories; up to six months for persons in the Short Term Scholar category).

To request an extension, you must begin the process with your host department, which will submit to HR-OIS & ISSS an amended offer letter. The extension process should be started at least one month prior to expiration of the original DS-2019.

Program Transfer

An Exchange Visitor may transfer from one program sponsor to another if the purpose of the transfer is to complete the Exchange Visitor objective for which they were admitted. The transfer process requires coordination between the international office of the current J-1 program and the international office of the new J-1 program.

To transfer to the University of South Carolina, the Scholar must:

  • Contact their current university’s international office to obtain procedures and forms which must be completed to approve and schedule the “transfer out” of the SEVIS DS-2019 record.
  • Provide copies of the DS-2019 forms to ISSS and submit a DS-2019 Request Form.
  • Maintain their Exchange Visitor status at the current J-1 program sponsor until the transfer effective date.
  • Obtain the new DS-2019 from USC and attend a Scholar check-in within 30 days after the transfer date.

To transfer out of the University of South Carolina, the Scholar must:

  • Complete a Exchange Visitor Transfer-Out Request Form and submit it to ISSS prior to expiration of the current DS-2019, and prior to beginning at the new program.
  • Maintain their Exchange Visitor status at the University of South Carolina until the effective date of transfer.
  • Report to the international office at the new Exchange Visitor program sponsor to collect the new DS-2019 within 30 days after the effective date of transfer.

Early Completion of Program

If you complete your program early – more than 30 days prior to the expiration on the DS-2019, you must notify ISSS of the early completion in order to receive an updated DS-2019 reflecting the change in the DS-2019 end date. Additionally, you must keep in mind that program completion is determined by the expiration of the DS-2019, or completion of program objectives, whichever occurs first.

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