As an F-1 student, you must complete your program of study prior to the program end date shown on your form I-20. If you are unable to do so for a compelling academic reason, you must apply for an extension.

Eligibility for an Extension

  • You have continually maintained F-1 status.
  • The need for an extension is caused by compelling academic or medical reasons.
  • You apply for and are approved for the extension before the current program end date.

To Apply for a Program Extension

1.  Submit the Program Extension E-Form via iStart.  Your academic advisor will need to approve your extension and will determine the reason why you are unable to complete your program of study by the date listed on the form I-20. The following reasons may be used and additional documentation may be required:

  • Compelling academic issue such as, a change/addition of major, a change in research topic, or unexpected research delays
  • Illness (accompanied by a letter from your physician stating number of hours you can carry)

2.  Proof of financial support may be required in some cases.

3.  A DSO will assess your eligibility for a program extension. If approved, the DSO will process the extension request in SEVIS and issue a new form I-20 with the new program end date.