Program Extension

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.

Eligibility

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.

Procedure

If you wish to apply for a program extension, you must follow the steps below:

  1. Meet with an International Student Advisor, and bring the following documents:
    • I-20
    • I-94 card
    • Passport
  2. 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.

Limitations

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.

If you are ineligible for a program extension due to one of the above reasons, please speak to an International Student Advisor and consult our instructions on F-1 reinstatement procedures.