Program Extensions- Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much does it cost?
AFS-USA charges the partner country an additional amount to extend a student’s program. It varies by country, but all are less than $500.
2. What happens with the student’s visa?
When a program extension is finalized, the Dept. of State will not extend, renew, or replace the visa foil in the passport. This remains expired. The visa is only an entry document. However, AFSUSA is authorized to extend the student's legal status in the US by adjusting the program end date in the student’s SEVIS record. HOps staff notify Rory Vibar, who updates the SEVIS record and sends a revised DS-2019 form to the student. While the student can complete the year in the U.S. as planned legally, traveling abroad and seeking re-entry on an expired visa would require additional steps and is not advisable. Please see below:
An expired visa may be used for entry to the US under very limited conditions.
- If travelling to MEX, CAN and named Caribbean countries, please see this link for information.
- If travelling outside of the territories above, the student will need to reapply for a visa in their home country before they can return and continue with the J-1 program to the US.
3. Does the host family need to agree to host for the full year?
Not necessarily. If the family can’t or won’t continue to host, we do need confirmation from the RFS/local vols that the team will find the student a new second semester family.
4. Is there a deadline for a student to decide to extend her/his program?
Yes, no later than November 3rd for the final decision from all parties. For the Paperwork deadline December 8th. This gives travel time to change the student’s flight information.
5. Are there consent forms needed?
There are no official consent forms or anything needing signatures, but we do need to have an understanding that the student, host family, liaison, school, support, and natural parents all agree to the extension.
6. A host family or volunteer has questions about a program extension for a hosted student- who can they ask?
The RFS are the first point, but questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. A Partner or RFS has questions about a program extension for a hosted student- who can they ask?
HOps! Specifically, Amy Kiana Rendon-Patel at the email@example.com inbox. This is for students hosted in all regions.