Global Learning

I-20 Program Extension

F-1 students are required to complete their program of studies by the date indicated on their most current form I-20. Applications for extension of program must be submitted no later than 15 days prior to the expiration of your I-20. Students who fail to apply for a program extension in a timely fashion will be considered to be out of status and must apply for reinstatement or depart the U.S.

Eligibility Requirements

An I-20 extension may be granted if: 

  1. You have continually maintained status
  2. Your I-20 has not expired 
  3. the delays are caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as:  
  • changes of major or research topics
  • unexpected research problems, or 
  • documented illnesses. 

Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extensions. The following are also NOT acceptable reasons for requesting an extension:

  • you need to retake courses for which you received unsatisfactory grades
  • you need additional time to make up incomplete courses
  • you failed to work closely or consult with academic advisors
  • you have not made full-time effort at meeting your degree requirements, due to personal, financial, or employment-related reasons

Application Process

In order to request a program extension, you will need to submit the following to the Center for Global Learning:

  • Financial evidence demonstrating sufficient funding for the additional time you will need to complete your studies. All funds must be readily available to cover the cost of tuition, plus living expenses
  • Certification from academic advisor explaining the reason for the extension and expected completion date
  • Application for Extension of I-20 submitted through the International Student Portal

Upon receiving the above documents, the CGL will review your eligibility for a program extension. If your request is approved, an extension for a maximum of one year will be granted. The CGL will update your F-1 records and provide you with a new I-20 with an updated expiration date.

If the CGL determines that you are not eligible for a program extension under F-1 provisions, or if you do not apply for a program extension before the expiration date on your I-20, you automatically lose your F-1 status and must apply for Reinstatement of Status.