First, complete your Cultural Activity Report form which you can upload here:

Fill out the Cultural Activity Report form, insert photos, and then upload it to the CHF Health Insurance and Cultural Activity portal into the window for your current year of J-1 visa status (1-7) using your login and password from the previous year. 

By February of each year, you will receive from the Cordell Hull Foundation an invitation to log into our portal and upload your report and proof of health insurance coverage per J-1 visa regulations.

Then ask your school, district, or Confucius Institute to contact CHF to request your J-1 visa renewal for the 2nd or 3rd year.  We ask the school to update the previous year’s CHF Roster form CHF J-1 Roster 2022-2024.

CHF will collect the necessary information from the school (not the teacher), then send your renewal J-1 teacher exchange visa paperwork to you or to your school supervisor.  Be sure to fold and staple the updated DS-2019 form and staple it into your passport as demonstrated at the initial CHF orientation that you attended.


If you have a 3-year visa stamp in your passport, good through the second and third years, all you need is CHF’s updated DS-2019 form.

3rd-4th year extensions

If you are currently in your third year, you may request an extension for a 4th and 5th year in J-1 visa status, providing you have complied with all J-1 visa regulations for the past three years.  The extension (as compared with a renewal) is a more formal process.  It involves an extension fee paid by the school in advance, plus a video test of basic English comprehension.  CHF will log you in and send you a link to the online course.

The deadline for the 4th-5th year J-1 teacher visa extension is mid-March.  Ask your school supervisor to follow the instructions on the 4th-5th year CHF Extension Procedures video in Vimeo.  To find the link, see the list of Cordell Hull Foundation Instruction Videos.

Wait to hear from CHF to send you an instruction letter, after we receive approval, reminding you how to apply for a J-1 visa extension.  It is the same exact process you followed to apply for your J-1 and J-2 visas in the first place except you do NOT pay the SEVIS-901 fee again.  You need the extension approved from the government, through CHF, before you set a new visa appointment, but you need not set an appointment unless you are planning to leave the US.  See section below.

If you wish to apply for a J-1 teacher visa extension in either Canada or Mexico, go to the website of the American Embassy in that city and check to see if they are accepting appointments to request non-immigrant J-1 visa extensions.  Their policies vary from year to year.  See the section below.

If you have a one-year J-1 visa stamp, or if your visa is expiring on June 30 of this school year, see the next section.


When TO   If I am planning to leave the US and the J-1 visa in my passport is expiring before I return.

When NOT   I am staying in the US for the entire next year and will not leave the country. The Cordell Hull Foundation will issue an additional renewal DS-2019 form updating my status which will contain a Travel Validation signature.  All I need do is fill in the bottom line on my renewal DS-2019 form, fold it in such a way that it can be viewed in its entirety when unfolded, and staple the form into my passport (along with all previous DS-2019 forms).

Watch this travel validation video in English for a refresher if you do not remember the folding and stapling demonstration from your initial orientation, and/or for a re-explanation of the travel validation date: (2 minutes)

When NOT returning to the US
As we explain at all our new-teacher orientations, your J-1 teacher visa status automatically ends on June 30 of the academic school year. You have a 30-day grace period to stay in the US, until July 30.  During the grace period, you can travel or wrap up your affairs, but not work.  And, of course, if you leave the US during these 30 days, you cannot re-enter in J-1 visa status for two full additional years.

My Home Country  You can always apply to renew your J-1 visa status in your country of origin.  Or you can apply in a country you visit if that country is willing to accept Third Country National applications.
Check the website of the American Embassy of the target country and read the instructions in the Non-Immigrant Visa section.  For listing of US Embassy and Consular websites, see

Canada – Third Country Nationals (TCNs)

Most Third Country Nationals (citizens of countries other than Canada applying for continuation of visas to visit or work in the United States) can apply to renew J1 visa status in Canada.  There are several Canadian embassies, and policies vary from year to year.  Check the American Embassy website in the specific city (i.e. Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver) or try to find an information number to phone.  There may be a fee for the call.

Mexico – Third Country Nationals (TCNs)

Website for making appointments in Mexico:

Only Third Country Nationals renewing the same visa type of visa (J-1 or J-2) that was initially stamped either in the country of residence or citizenship or at a border post in Canada or Mexico may apply.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to renew your visa in Mexico, use the telephone number on the website to make your appointment rather than the online appointment system.