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.
To be eligible for an extension of stay, you must show that:
The following are not valid reasons for an I-20 Extension:
If you have completed all degree requirements, you are not eligible for an I-20 Extension of Stay.
We recommend that you submit your application to ISS, 210 Talbert Hall 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.
The application process recently changed. Please read the instructions below carefully.
To apply for an Extension of Stay, you will need the following documentation:
To apply for an I-20 Extension of Stay, follow the directions below. We recommend that you submit your application at least 10 business days before your I-20 Program End Date.
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.
Full-Time Certification vs Reduced Course Load: What's the Difference?
If you are a graduate student near the end of your program you may be eligible. Contact your department’s graduate coordinator (before the semester begins) to see if you qualify. If you qualify, you will file a form with your academic department and the Graduate School.
The Graduate School has Full-Time Certification forms on their website.
If you are an F-1 student who meets the eligibility requirements for one of the three types of Reduced Course loads, you may apply for this benefit through ISS.