Students who will not finish the program of study by their expected completion date (indicated in the “Program of Study” box on the Form I-20 or in item number 3 on the Form DS-2019) must request a program extension before their program end date. An extension may be granted by an ISSS advisor if the student has continually maintained status and the extension is required due to compelling academic or medical reasons.
Failure to apply for an extension prior to the completion date on the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 will result in the termination of legal immigration status and suspension of all employment authorization, whether on or off campus. To regain legal status, a student would need to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for reinstatement (if eligible) and pay the associated fee OR travel outside the US, obtain a new visa and re-enter.
In order to apply for a program extension, the student must submit the following via email to their International Student Advisor:
- Program Extension Request Form completed and signed by an Academic Adviser.
- ELECTRONIC ENDORSEMENT REQUIREMENT: If your Academic Adviser will use an electronic signature to endorse any application forms, you must submit all application materials to your International Student Advisor in one email with all signatories copied.
- Current documentation showing financial support for the remaining period of time needed to complete the academic program. Students who have dependents in F-2 or J-2 status must provide evidence of sufficient funds to support them as well. Cost estimates for the extension period can be found here.
Processing an extension takes 2-3 weeks; therefore, students should apply for the extension early. The student will be notified via email once the new Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 reflecting the extension has been issued. Students should keep all previously issued Forms I-20 or DS-2019. Students working on campus should also present the new form to their HR facilitator to extend their on-campus work authorization.
NOTE: J-1 students who have applied for and received a waiver of the Two-Year Home Residence Requirement are not eligible for extension of J-1 immigration status.