You can choose to extend your program while in the U.S. A training extension is an extension of the PCT USA program that begins the day after the end of your initial training. It allows you to complement your training with an additional period within the same host company. You can apply for up to two extensions of the same training as long as the total duration does not exceed 18 months.
Your program extension application, comprised of the following documents, must be sent to Parenthese no later than 4 weeks before the expiration of your current DS-2019:
- The PCT USA Extension Confirmation Form
- The CIEE Application for Program Extension
- DS-7002 (Training Plan) to be filled out online by your employer
- Scan of your current J-1 visa
- Scan of your current DS-2019
- Proof of resources if you are paid less than $1500/month
- Payment of your extension program fees
If you wish to travel outside of the U.S. during your extension period, you will have to apply for a second J-1 visa. The appointment wait times vary very much depending on the location and time of year.
You can check the current wait times for the city of your choice on the official website of U.S. Consular Affairs.