Extending your current immigration status

Immigraton Services stays in regular contact with our main department liaisons and sends them reminders regarding students and employees whose immigration documents are approaching expiration. Please note, however, that the ultimate responsibility to maintain visa status falls on the visa holder. Therefore, we recommend that visa holders contact their department administrator and Immigration Services to determine their eligibility for an extension of visa status 6 months prior to the expiration of their visa status.

The following guidelines are provided to help you determine the maximum length allowed for specific visa types:

F-1 students enrolled in GSBS - F-1 students on OPT J-1 short-term scholars - J-1 Research Scholar/Professor - J-1 alien physician - H-1B - TN - O-1

F-1 students enrolled in GSBS

Extensions may be permitted until completion of degree program.  Immigration Services coordinates the extension process with GSBS and the F-1 student.  If extension is approved, a new Form I-20 will be issued to the student.

F-1 students on a period of Optional Practical Training (OPT)

The initial period of OPT is valid for twelve months.  Some students may qualify for an additional 17-month OPT STEM extension.  Students whose F-1 visa was sponsored by UMMS should contact Immigration Services 90 days prior to the expiration of the initial period of OPT to see if a STEM extension is possible.  Students whose F-1 status was not sponsored by UMMS should contact the school that issued the Form I-20 to determine if a STEM extension is possible.   

J-1 short-term scholars (short-term scholar category indicated on Form DS-2019)

Maximum allowable time is 6 months. 

J-1 research scholar / professor

Extensions may be permitted up to the maximum time of 5 years*.  Immigration Services coordinates the extension process with the sponsoring department and J scholar.  If approved, a new Form DS-2019 will be issued. 

J-1 alien physicians (Graduate Medical Education)

Extensions may be permitted in one-year progressive training increments up to the maximum 7 years.  Immigration Services coordinates the extension with the residents and the Educational Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), the organization that will issue the document.  J-1 Clinical Continuation Packet.

H-1B Temporary Workers

Extensions may be permitted in up to three year increments to the maximum of 6 years.  Immigration Services processes extension requests.  In some cases, extensions beyond the six year maximum are permitted.  Immigration Services will advise when this is the case.

TN

Extensions may be permitted in increments of up to three years. 

O-1

Extensions may be permitted in increments of up to one-year.

E-3

Extensions may be permitted in two-year increments.  Immigration Services processes extension requests.

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