I have been told that I have 30 days after the final day of work according to the DS-2019 (14 Feb 2011) to travel however my J1 expires on the 17 Nov 2013, which is the date I must use and if it is according to the DS-2019 dates can I file for an extension or change of status (I539) in time to stay until the end of April? thank you and please let me know asap what the best course of action is.
The DS-2019 controls your authorized status in the U.S. The visa is just for entry purposes, it does not determine your period of authorized stay, i.e. your lawful status in the U.S. You will have a 30 day grace period from that date to prepare for departure or apply for an extension or change of status. Check with your exchange program's Responsible Officer (RO) about possible extensions. J-1 visa holders who are subject to the home return requirement may not change status in the U.S. Those who are not subject to it may do so.
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