Program Extension

As an F-1 student, you are expected to complete your program of study within the time limits authorized by the SEVIS Form I-20 - you can find your program end date on line #5 of your I-20.

If you are unable to complete your program by the completion date on the I-20 due to compelling academic or medical reasons you must apply for a program extension at least 30 days before the expiration date. Program extensions must be fully processed BEFORE the completion date indicated on your I-20. Failure to extend by the completion date is a violation of status. For graduate students, extensions cannot be provided beyond the time limit specified by the Graduate School.


Undergraduates Applying for a Program Extension:

Step 1: Complete the Request for a Program Extension in AccessVIS.

Step 2: Upload all supporting academic and financial documents requested in AccessVIS.

Step 3: Obtain a letter from your Undergraduate Director providing the following information:

  • A recommendation that you be allowed to extend your stay in order to complete your course of study.
  • An estimate of the expected date of completion of studies.
  • A detailed explanation of why you need additional time to complete your program. (Academic probation is not a valid reason for extension of program.) According to immigration regulations [8 CFR 214.2 (f) (7) (iii)], students are eligible for program extension only if one or more of the following reasons apply:
    • change in major field of study
    • change in research topic
    • unexpected research problems
    • credits lost through transfer
    • documented illness

Step 4:  If the application is complete and correct in AccessVIS, your new SEVIS Form I-20 should be available within two weeks.


Graduate Students Applying for a Program Extension:

Step 1: Complete the Request for a Program Extension in AccessVIS.

Step 2: Upload all supporting academic and financial documents requested in AccessVIS.

  • Copies of your original immigration documents
  • Letter from your Graduate Program Director and/or Academic Advisor in your department, indicating any tuition waivers or stipends and your expected completion date.
  • Proof of financial support

Step 3: Obtain a letter from your Graduate Director providing the following information:

  • A recommendation that you be allowed to extend your stay in order to complete your course of study.
  • An estimate of the expected date of completion of studies.
  • A detailed explanation of why you need additional time to complete your program. (Academic probation is not a valid reason for extension of program.) According to immigration regulations [8 CFR 214.2 (f) (7) (iii)], students are eligible for program extension only if one or more of the following reasons apply:
    • change in major field of study
    • change in research topic
    • unexpected research problems
    • credits lost through transfer
    • documented illness

Step 4: If the application is complete and correct in AccessVIS, your new SEVIS Form I-20 should be available within two weeks.