Extension of Stay

Extension of Stay Overview

F-1 students are expected to complete all degree requirements by the Program End Date on their I-20. If you will not complete your academic program by the Program End Date on your current I-20 due to compelling academic or medical reasons, you must file for an Extension of Stay and receive a new I-20 with a new Program End Date.

You must apply for and receive your new I-20 before your current I-20 expires.

If approved for an I-20 Extension, you will be permitted to remain in the U.S. to complete your degree requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an extension of stay, you must show that:

  • You have maintained F-1 status and continually been a full-time student.
  • You must have Full-Time Enrollment for the current semester and your next semester. 
    • If it is not possible to enroll for your next semester or you cannot receive Full-Time Certification from the Graduate School or a Final Semester Reduced Course Load at the time that you are submitting your I-20 Extension request, ISS will require that you show funding for full-time (12 credits) study
    • If you need fewer than 12 credits (or 9 credits for graduate students with Assistantships), you must be approved for Full-Time Certification from the Graduate School (graduate students only) or have an approved Final Semester Reduced Course Load
  • You are making normal progress towards completing your course of study.
  • You have sufficient funds to cover the cost of the additional semester(s) (tuition, fees and living expenses).
  • The delay in completion was caused by compelling academic or medical reasons. For example:
    • Change of major or research topic
    • Unexpected research problems
    • Documented illness (medical documentation required)
    • Adding a major

The following are not valid reasons for an I-20 Extension:

  • To enroll in extra courses; to repeat the same course for personal interest; and/or to improve one’s GPA
  • To engage in non-required Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • To enroll in course work delayed by participation in non-required CPT
  • To complete degree requirements that do not require enrollment (i.e. comprehensive exam, finish pending coursework for an incomplete grade, etc.)
  • To address delays due to academic probation or suspension
  • To request additional time due to issues not directly related to academics. 

If you have completed all degree requirements, you are not eligible for an I-20 Extension of Stay.

Application Timeline

We recommend that you submit your application to ISS at least 30–90 days before the Program End Date on your current I-20. The earliest you can apply is one semester before the Program End Date on your current I-20. 

The maximum length of Extension is 1 year. If more than one year is needed to complete degree requirements, you will need to apply for another Extension in the future.

Your extension request must be submitted and approved by ISS before the Program End Date on your current I-20.  If you apply for an Extension of Stay after the Program End Date on your current I-20, your application will be denied.  Failure to file a timely application will therefore result in violation of F-1 Status.

We cannot guarantee that your information will be entered into the SEVIS system before your Program End Date unless you submit your documents to us at least 10 business days prior to your current I-20 Program End Date.

Application Steps

Longer ISS Processing Times

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ISS processing times for this request are longer than usual. Please refer to our COVID-19 FAQ page and check the ISS Services section for details.

To apply for an I-20 Extension of Stay, follow the directions below.

Talk to Your Academic Advisor

Talk to your academic advisor to plan your I-20 extension. Creating a academic plan is an important part of extending your stay as a student. Once your plan is confirmed, please ask your advisor to complete the required recommendation form.

Academic Advisor’s Recommendation Form

  • This should be a fillable PDF form. If you cannot edit within your web browser you may need to download the form to access the fillable features.

Enroll for Classes

Login to your student HUB center and enroll the number of credits as described in your advisor’s recommendation form (if the enrollment window is open).

If it’s less than 12 credits (or 6 credits if summer is your final semester), please be sure to discuss with your academic department if you are eligible to apply for Full-Time Certification or if you might need a Reduced Course Load to meet the full-time enrollment requirements.

For additional information on enrollment requirements read our information on Maintaining F-1 Status.


Not sure what the difference is between the two? Scroll up and read about the differences on the top right of this page. 

Submit Your Extension Request to ISS

We recommend that you submit your application at least 10 business days before your I-20 Program End Date. 

  • Log in to UB Global by clicking the “LOGIN” button. Enter your UBIT Name and Password. 
  • Click on “F-1 Student Services” and then “I-20 Extension of Stay for F-1 Students”.
    • There are two e-forms in this group. Both e-forms must be complete before your I-20 Extension Request will be reviewed by an International Student Advisor.
  • Step 1 is the E-Form titled "Application for Extension of Stay". You are required to upload your completed "Academic Advisor's I-20/DS-2019 Extension of Stay Recommendation" Form in this e-form and answer questions related to your academic and financial situation.  

After completing this e-form, ISS will send you an estimate of how much financial support you need to show. 

Prepare & Submit Your Financial Documentation

ISS will calculate the total amount of financial support that you must document for an Extension of Stay depending upon the number of credit hours you need to complete your program and the number of months / semesters you require to finish your program. You will receive your estimate after submitting your extension request as described above.

ISS Acceptable Financial Documentation Information

  • Log in to UB Global by clicking the “LOGIN” button. Enter your UBIT Name and Password. 
  • Click on “F-1 Student Services” and then “I-20 Extension of Stay for F-1 Students”.
  • Step 2 is the e-form titled "Financial Documentation". In this e-form you will be asked to upload your financial documents. 
    • You cannot begin this e-form until ISS has approved your first e-form and sent you an email asking for financial documentation.

After submitting Step 2, an International Student Advisor will review your request. If eligible for an I-20 Extension of Stay, you will be issued a new I-20 with a future Program End Date. 

Important Reminders

Please keep your new I-20 and all of your previous I-20’s.  Do not throw away your old I-20’s as they are an important piece of your immigration history!   

You should carry all of your I-20’s when traveling because you may be required to present them as proof of your immigration history.