Program Extension

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.

Eligibility Requirements

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:

  1. Your I-20 has not yet expired. The expiration date is indicated in item 5 of the I-20.
  2. The delay was caused by documented academic or medical circumstances,
  3. You have sufficient financial resources to fund your studies and living expenses, and
  4. 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

  1. 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
    • 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
  2. 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
  3. Email the completed Request for I-20 Extension request, verification of funds and  any academic verifications to 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.