J-1 student interns may remain in the internship program in the United States for up to 12 months. If J-1 student interns wish to extend their internship program they must apply for an extension before their current Forms DS-2019 expire (see the dates on section #3 of the Form DS-2019).
Extensions are not permitted beyond 12 months for J-1 student interns. The Student Intern must remain enrolled at their home university for the entirety of the extension period. They cannot graduate while in the U.S.
The request for extension must come to the HIO from the Harvard department or affiliated hospital sponsoring the student interns. To facilitate timely extensions, the HIO also issues to departments a memo months prior to the expiration of the Form DS-2019 asking if an extension will be requested. Departments respond to the HIO request by completing the extension form and return it to the HIO, or contact the HIO advisor directly to request an extension. An additional J-1 Student Intern Intake Form will also need to be completed.
Please note, requesting an extension through the HIO will extend your Harvard-issued visa document (Form DS-2019 and DS-7002), and your permission to remain in the U.S. The visa stamp in your passport will not automatically be extended. If you travel outside of the U.S. after the visa stamp in your passport expires, you will need to apply for a renewal of your visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country in order to return to the U.S. in status. It is not possible to renew a visa within the U.S.