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Program (I-20) Extension
If you are unable to complete your program of study before the program end date on your I-20, you must apply for program extension with CIE at least 2 weeks BEFORE the program end date on your I-20.
In order to obtain a program extension, you must show that you have continually maintained status and that the extension is needed for compelling academic or medical reasons, such as a change of major or a documented illness. Delays in completing your program caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension approval [8 CFR § 214.2 (f) (7) (iii)].
Extension of stay can be granted only for documented academic or medical reasons. You may be eligible for an I-20 extension if the following criteria are met:
- Your I-20 has not yet expired. The expiration date is indicated in item 5 of the I-20.
- The delay was caused by documented academic or medical circumstances,
- You have sufficient financial resources to fund your studies and living expenses, and
- The extension is requested in a timely manner, with sufficient time for processing before the current expiration
Not eligible or I-20 Expired
If your program end date (I-20, section #5) has expired or you do not meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a program extension, it will be necessary to file for reinstatement to F-1 status with USCIS, for which you will have to pay a substantial fee. In addition, failure to apply for an extension of stay in a timely manner is a violation of F-1 regulations, which can carry heavy penalties.
The following are not valid reasons for I-20 extensions:
- To enroll in extra courses or repeat the same course for personal interest or to improve one’s GPA
- To engage in research on or off-campus
- To finish pending coursework for an incomplete grade
- To engage in non-required Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- To enroll in course work delayed by participation in non-required CPT
An I-20 which has already passed the program end date cannot be extended.
How to Apply for a Program Extension
- Meet with your academic advisor(s)
- Undergraduate Students- meet with your major advisor and GE advisor (Sam Tran). Obtain verification of your remaining requirements and an expected completion date. Your advisors may email the verification to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Graduate Students- meet with your major advisor and your project/thesis advisor (if applicable). Obtain verification of your remaining requirements and an expected completion date. Your advisor(s) may email the verification to email@example.com
- Complete the Request for I-20 Extension (Extension of Program)
- Updated Declaration of Finance form and Verification of Funds are required
- Program costs are listed here
- Email the completed Request for I-20 Extension request, verification of funds and any academic verifications to firstname.lastname@example.org to CIE BEFORE to the program end date on your most recent I-20.
Be sure to keep this new I-20 and all previous I-20 forms that you have been issued. They must be submitted upon request to an immigration officer when you travel outside the U.S., for future immigration petitions and applications to USCIS.