The duration of the exchange visitor’s program is stated in item 3 of the Form DS-2019. International Scholars Operations (ISO) has the discretion to extend an exchange visitor’s program participation to the limit allowed by law (up to five years for persons in the Professor and Research Scholar categories; up to six months for persons in the Short Term Scholar category). To request an extension, the sponsoring academic department completes the UW J Visa Request Form and forwards it to ISO for processing. ISO issues a new DS-2019 reflecting the extension.

If the US Department of State has recommended a waiver of the two-year home country presence requirement, the exchange visitor may complete his or her existing program, but may not receive an extension.

Following completion of the program, the exchange visitor is no longer in J-visa status. However, immigration law allows the exchange visitor a 30-day "grace period" beyond the program completion date to settle his or her affairs and return home. Employment is not permitted during the grace period.