To extend J-1 visa status for the 4-5th years, teachers must first upload three cultural activity reports and health insurance proof to the CHF Zoho portal.  The school also presents documents.

Your SEVIS number does not change.  If you cannot wait for approval … and want to take the risk … you can go online to the American Embassy website in the country where you plan to apply for your J-1 visa extension next summer and make a visa appointment.  Use your SEVIS number (starting with N00 …) and current passport number.  Do NOT pay the SEVIS 901 fee ($220) again.

You need the updated DS-2019 form to actually get the extension, which you will not receive until 2-6 weeks AFTER CHF submits your extension request to the US government sometime before the end of April.

You do NOT need another J-1 visa stamp in your passport if you stay inside the United States.  The DS-2019 form keeps you in status.  See: 

If you have applied for another visa status, or you have applied for a waiver of 212-E, your 4th-5th year J-1 visa extension will be denied.

Note:  Check the website of the country where you plan to get your visa to find out if the American Embassy itself has any restrictions on one-way or round-trip ticketing.  The Cordell Hull Foundation does not require it.

Relevant videos:  French:  www.vimeo.com/447707745

English:  www.vimeo.com/328036379     –     www.vimeo.com/316631677