Extension of Stay (extending the Program Completion Date of your I-20)
When do I need to request an extension of my I-20?
If you are unable to complete your academic program by the completion date shown under section 5 of your I-20, you must apply for an program extension. You may be granted a program extension provided that you:
- Have maintained active status.
- Are making normal academic progress.
- Apply prior to the completion date on your I-20.
- Meet one of the acceptable reasons listed below.
- Show updated proof of financial support to cover the entire period of the program extension.
What are acceptable reasons for requesting a program extension?
Delays caused by academic probation or extensions are not acceptable reasons for extension of your program. In addition, you are required to have been maintaining normal academic progress toward completion of your degree.
- A change in your major field
- A change in research topic
- Unforeseen research problems
- Authorized medical leave*
*Medical leave must be authorized by the International Student Coordinator (ISC) prior to leave in order for you to maintain active F-1 status.
What happens if my I-20 expires before I have requested an extension of my program?
If you do not apply for a program extension prior to the program completion date listed under section 5 of your I-20, you will have fallen out of status. As a result, you will be required to request a reinstatement of your status from USDHS. Furthermore, if you are out of status, you are ineligible for any F-1 student benefits (e.g. on-campus employment, practical training, etc).
How do I request an extension of my program?
- You must provide a letter from your graduate program director or academic adviser stating the grounds for an extension request and providing a revised, anticipated completion date. A memo is attached for your adviser which outlines the required content and form of their letter. This letter should be sent to the attention to the International Student Coordinator in The Office of International Education.
- You must show current proof of financial support to cover the entire period of the program extension.
- Submit the above-mentioned documents to the International Student Coordinator.
- Pending approval by the ISC, a revised I-20 will be issued within one week.