Department of State Implements Automatic 60-Day Extension for J-1 Exchange Visitors in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic; Updates FAQs on Program Disruption
April 18, 2020
On April 2, 2020, the Department of State (“DOS”) notified exchange visitor program sponsors that it will automatically extend J-1 program end dates 60 days in SEVIS for “Active” records with a program end date between April 1 – May 31, 2020. The automatic 60-day extension only applies to J-1 exchange visitors who are actively pursuing program objectives and does not apply to exchange visitors who have already ended their programs. Sponsors are required to extend the insurance coverage during the 60-day extension. In addition, sponsors may electronically transmit to exchange visitors updated and fully executed Forms DS-2019 reflecting the 60-day extension. Exchange visitors who anticipate that they will need to apply for a visa abroad should request their sponsors to send them the original Forms DS-2019.