If you are unable to complete your present degree by the date indicated on your I-20, you may apply for a program extension within the semester in which that document expires and at least 30 days before the end date on your I-20.
Eligibility for Program Extension
An F-1 student is eligible for an program extension if:
- The student applies to the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Office for the extension at least 30 days prior to the program end date on the student’s I-20
- The student’s SEVIS record is updated by ISSS to reflect the extension before the program completion date
- The student has "continually maintained status"
- ISSS can certify that the delay in completion is caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses
- Academic dismissal or probation has not delayed the student's completion of degree
Applying for a Program Extension
To apply for a program extension, please make an appointment with the ISSS Office 1-3 months before your program end date on your I-20 and submit the following to ISSS:
- Program Extension Request Form
- Letter from academic advisor or ELP coordinator describing the compelling academic reasons why the student’s program could not be completed by the allotted time on the student’s I-20 (if not able to fit explanation on the Program Extension Request Form)
The deadline for applying for a program extension of your I-20 is to be no later than 30 days before the end date on your I-20.