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.
- After your I-20 expires, you can no longer request an extension.
F-1 students may request an extension of program/visa status if they are not able to complete their academic program by their current I-20 expiration date. Approval of extension requests is at the discretion of ISSS. In order to preserve the integrity of Georgia State University's federal certification (which permits F-1 attendance), ISSS may deny extension requests that do not meet the criteria below.
- The student submits the 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 visa status.
- The delay in 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. 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
Requesting the F-1 Extension
- Log into iStart
- From the iStart homepage: click on F-1 Student Services and submit the Extension of I-20 e-form.
- After submission, an ISSS advisor will review your e-form submission within 3-5 business days and notify you via email of a decision or follow-up for more information.
Please Note: Submitting the I-20 Extension e-form 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.