I have been on J1 visa for 6 months so the dates on my visa are 01 FEB 2017 to 01 AUG 2017 but I got an extension of 6 months (which makes it to a total of 1 year).

Does CBP know about this extension, or do they consider it as overstay since my visa dates are 6 months but my departure is after 1 year?

PS: I have 'D/S' written on my I-94 stamp.

  • They get to know but not immediately because the USCIS systems sometimes are not fully integrated with the ICE and CBP systems. I am talking from experience. Carry your paperwork when traveling. – user 56513 Sep 3 '18 at 13:29
  • @MusoniusRufus I just put random dates, my actual visa is from about 2years+ ago – maxmax Sep 3 '18 at 13:29
  • 1
    The expiration date of your visa is irrelevant to whether you overstayed -- US visas are solely for entry, and do not mean anything about your stay inside the US. – user102008 Sep 3 '18 at 15:23
  • 3
    @maxmax: Nope. You can enter the US on the day the visa expires, and be admitted for months or years afterwards, depending on your particular visa. Whether you are overstaying depends on whether you stay over the length of time you are admitted for (and whether you otherwise violate the conditions of your status), regardless of whether your visa is expired or unexpired. – user102008 Sep 3 '18 at 15:27
  • 1
    Questions about J visas generally belong on Expatriates. But since you were admitted for duration of status ("D/S") you are allowed to stay in the US as long as you maintain your status, plus a short grace period, if any. Whether you get a grace period depends on how your status ends. – phoog Sep 3 '18 at 17:54

The D/S written on your I-94 stamp stands for "duration of status" and means that CBP authorized you to remain in the US for as long as you have valid J-1 status. This contrasts with most other I-94s which show a specific expiration date. If your valid J-1 status will end later than originally planned, you are still authorized to remain in the US until the end of your status and grace period.

Note that having or extending your valid J-1 status depends both on your DS-2019 end date and on continuing to perform your J-1 activities. If you stop doing your J-1 activities, your status becomes invalid even if you haven't reached the DS-2019 end date.

Regarding your question of whether CBP knows about your DS-2019 extension, in theory they should know, but in practice you can never be sure. It's always a good idea to carry documentation in case they ask, including DS-2019(s), printed electronic I-94(s), and offer letter from your J-1 program sponsor.

| improve this answer | |
  • The J1 visa was some years ago and I don't have access to my old documents anymore, now I'm going with an ESTA (2-3 weeks vacation). So you are saying that anyone that has gotten a previous visa in the US should always bring with him all his preivous visa paperwork even if it's just for a transit? That seems like a lot of efforts. – maxmax Sep 3 '18 at 15:14
  • 1
    @maxmax They may not ask, especially if you're just coming on vacation years later with no additional complications. Or they may ask questions but not ask for documentation. Nonetheless, US immigration is known for its unpredictability. Keeping your previous paperwork (at least DS-2019s and I-94s) is strongly recommended, although it's most necessary when you're doing something more complicated. – krubo Sep 3 '18 at 15:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.