It is your responsibility to be familiar with all the information on your I-20, including its expiration date. If you will not complete your degree program before the current expiration date on your I-20, you must:
- Request an I-20 extension 1 month before it expires.
- Review the Extension of Program Policy for more details before applying for an extension.
- After your I-20 expires, you can no longer request an extension.
Applying for an F-1 Extension
- Log into iStart
- If you are unfamiliar with iStart, see the iStart for Students page.
- In iStart: click on “F1 Student Services”, then “Extension of I-20” e-form.
- After submission, an ISSS advisor will review your request within 3-5 business days and notify you by email of a decision or follow-up information needed, if required.
**Please Note: Submitting the I-20 Extension request does not guarantee approval of the request. There must be compelling academic or medical reasons in order to be eligible for an extension. If you are not eligible for an extension, an advisor in ISSS will discuss your options.**
Effect of Early Completion of Degree/Program on an Approved Extension
For undergraduate and graduate non-thesis students, completion of a course of study is the last day of the final exams of the semester in which they finish all degree requirements. All other graduate students can choose between three dates for completion of study:
- On the last day of finals in the semester in which the student completes all required coursework.
- On the date, the student successfully defends the thesis/dissertation/project. (This date is established between the student and the academic advisor or department chair.)
- On the last day of finals in the semester in which the final degree requirement is met. This is the same for non-thesis students.
F-1 Extension Overview
- The student submits all documents for an extension request at least five (5) business days before his or her I-20 expiration date. The I-20 expiration date is listed in section 5 of the I-20.
- The student has continually maintained and is currently maintaining F-1 status. Click here for more information on maintaining F-1 status.
- The delay in the completion of studies is caused by compelling, substantive academic or medical reasons. Such reasons may include changes of major or thesis/dissertation topic, unexpected research problems, or a documented medical illness. Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not valid reasons for program extension.
- The student is making normal academic progress towards the degree objective listed in sections 4 and 5 of Form I-20. Normal progress is the rate at which the average full-time student in the degree program completes the program requirements.
Length of Extension Granted
Multiple Extension Requests
Financial Document Requirements
In addition to the I-20/DS-2019 Extension Request Form, students must provide financial documentation proving sufficient funding for full-time study for the recommended period of extension. Click here for more information on costs of attendance.
- A student who needs an additional semester must submit financial documentation for one semester of full-time study.
- A student who needs an additional semester but only one-course remaining must submit financial documentation for one semester of full-time study.
- A student who needs another year must submit financial documentation for one year of full-time study.
Total funding required must be immediately available and shown in the documentation. Financial documents must be issued directly by the funding source and must be original documents. (Photocopies, faxes, scanned documents, computer/Web printouts are not acceptable.)
ISSS is committed to maintaining support and services to you during this time and will continue to operate under normal operating procedures for the remainder of the semester, just from a remote and online platform. This means you can call us directly or email us to request information and/or telephone/web appointments for advisement during our regular advisement hours.