Extending Your Program

Is your training or internship going well? Does your host organization have new and skills and activities to train you on? Is your current internship under the maximum allowed time? If you answered “Yes” to all of the above, a program extension may me right for you.

What is an extension?

An extension just means you want to continue your training or internship program for a longer time. For example if you originally planned on a three-month internship, and wish to stay for an additional three months.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • You will need to need to account for the time and cost of extending your travelers health insurance. Make sure it will cover the additional time.
  • Extending your program with your sponsor does NOT extend your visa. If you need to renew or extend your visa for international travel you will need to do so on your own.
  • Make sure to apply in advance. An extension request needs to be completed and approved by your sponsor before the end date of your original program. Applying less than a month before the end of your program may result in additional fees or the sponsor rejecting your request.

Good reasons to request an extension:

  • Your company has another department you can do a training rotation in that builds on the rest of your program.
  • A project has entered another phase and you could benefit from being involved.
  • You could benefit from the additional time by learning more advanced skills in your field.

Bad reasons to request an extension:

  • You have or will apply for another type of US visa and want to extend your stay to either change your status or wait for your other visa to start.
  • Your host company is understaffed and needs you to stay longer.
  • You want to stay longer in the US but do not plan to continue your internship or training program.

How you apply for an extension:

  • Start by talking to your host company. Get a realistic idea of what it is you want to accomplish with the extra time, and what it is they can offer you. Is there a new project coming up? Did the company secure a new contract? Has a project you’re involved with enter a new phase?
  • Ask your sponsor how much you can extend your program for if you’re not sure, and find out what the cost is. Much like your original application for sponsorship, there will be an additional processing fee and approval for your request may not be guaranteed.
    • Note that if you are working with a third-party, they may insist on being part of the extension application process. They will most likely add their fee on top of what the sponsor charges, even if they do not provide much help. It may even be in your contract.
  • Find out the extension application steps from your sponsor or agency, and make sure to thoroughly prepare your application documents so that you can apply on time.