As an F-1 student, you are granted a specific period of time to complete your degree requirements. This period of time is reflected in Section 5 of your Form I-20, which indicates your "completion date". If you are unable to finish your degree requirements by that date, you must apply for a program extension, otherwise you will be out of status.
To qualify for a program extension, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have completed a full course load every academic term, and otherwise be maintaining your F-1 status.
- You have compelling and unavoidable academic or medical reasons for needing more time to complete your program.
- You must apply for a program extension within 45 days prior to the completion date on your I-20.
- You must be meeting all financial obligations at the college.
If you wish to apply for a program extension, you must follow the steps below:
- Meet with an International
Student Advisor, and bring the following documents:
- I-94 card
- The International Student Advisor will review your application. If your request is approved, the advisor will issue a new I-20 to you with a new completion date, which includes updating your SEVIS record.
You are not eligible for a program extension if any of the following applies:
- You have not been studying on a full-time basis and did not have approval for part-time enrollment.
- Your need for more time is due to incompletes, withdrawals, or failing grades.
- You have engaged in unauthorized employment or committed any other violation of F-1 regulations.
- You submit a late request for an extension.