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F-1 Program Extension

An international student in F-1 status must always maintain accurate academic information in their SEVIS record and on their Form I-20. If you find that you will not complete your academic program requirements by the end date listed on your I-20, you must request a program extension with the Office of International Services.

Eligibility Heading link

To be eligible for an I-20 program extension, you and your academic department must establish a compelling academic reason for the delay such as a change in major field of study, research topic, or unexpected research problem. Additionally, extensions can be requested based on a documented medical reason. Delays in completing program requirements that are caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for an I-20 program extension. Please see the F-1 Program Extension E-Form in myOIS for a complete list of eligibility requirements.

Timing Heading link

Program Extensions can be requested as early as the semester before the program end date currently listed on your I-20 and ideally no later than one month prior to the current end date. It is best that you submit the request only when you know for sure that a program extension is necessary. Program extension requests that are submitted accurately and completely take a minimum of five business days to process in OIS. Unfortunately, program extensions cannot be requested after the end date currently listed on the SEVIS record and I-20.

Steps to request a program extension on your I-20 Heading link

  1. Meet with your academic advisor to review your progress in the program. During this conversation, you and your advisor will review your requirements for degree completion and determine what your new expected program completion date will be.
  2. Submit the Program Extension E-Form in myOIS. The e-form will ask you to identify the academic advisor who will confirm the reason for the delay and the new expected program completion date. The e-form will also ask you to submit evidence of funding for the length of the extension, up to one academic year. Learn more about international student funding and documentation requirements.
  3. Confirm that your academic advisor has received and submitted their supporting myOIS e-form. Your advisor can reach out to OIS directly with questions.
  4. Collect and sign your new I-20. When the program extension request is complete, OIS will contact you with options for receiving your new I-20 reflecting the new program completion date.

FAQs Heading link

Here are some frequently asked questions about the F-1 program extension process.