Extending Your I-20
When do I need a program extension?
If you are an F-1 student who has not completed your degree requirements by the completion date noted on your most current I-20 you must apply for a Program Extension.
Am I Eligible?
Any F-1 student who has continually maintained status and who has a compelling academic, medical or other reason for not completing the degree requirements by the completion date on the I-20 is eligible for a Program Extension. A "compelling reason" may include such things as a change of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, or a documented illness, which has interfered with full-time study. Academic suspension and probation are not considered acceptable reasons for a Program Extension.
When Should I Apply?
You need to apply for an extension prior to your current I-20 expiring. ISSS will process extensions as early as one semester before the I-20 document will expire.
How Do I Apply?
1. Complete the Program Extension Approval form
2. Submit the above form along with proof of finances to ISSS. Please see the Yearly Budget for information on how ISSS calculates the amount of money that you need to show for the extension. If you are unable to show the proof of finances with your personal funds you may submit funding from other sources (family, assistantship, etc) however an Affidavit of Support may be required.
3. Approximately 7-10 business days after you submit the application you will receive an email informing you when your new I-20 is ready for pick up.
Note: If you fail to extend your program of study before the completion date listed on your I-20 you may lose your F-1 status, and lose student benefits such as on-campus employment and other employment benefits. If this happens, you must apply to USCIS for reinstatement. See an ISSS advisor for information on reinstatement.