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Extension Procedures

I-20s are issued for set lengths of time based on the projected program length for each level of study. Sometimes, students require more time to complete the program, most commonly in cases where students are working on comprehensive papers or research, such as a thesis or dissertation.

A student who will not complete their academic program by the end date on their I-20 must complete and submit the I-20 extension request form and proof of financial support to OISS before the program end date.  If you are found eligible, OISS will issue you a new I-20 with a new end date. OISS strongly recommends submitting all materials at least one month before the program end date. You can find more information about program extension below.

Extension Application Form

 

Am I eligible for an extension?

Only OISS can determine if you are eligible for an extension of your I-20. You are required to provide supporting documents to substantiate your request. For general reference, you may be eligible for an extension if you meet all of these conditions:

  1. The student applies to OISSfor extension before their program end date
  2. The student has "continually maintained status"
  3. OISS can certify that the delay in completion is "caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illness"

An F-1 student is not eligible to apply for a program extension if:

  1. The delay was caused by academic probation or suspension;
  2. The completion date on the form I-20 has expired;
  3. The student has not maintained valid F-1 status; or
  4. The student does not otherwise meet the eligibility requirements stated above.
How do I apply for an extension?

You must apply for an extension before the program end date on your Form I-20. If you plan to travel outside the United States, you must apply for an extension prior to your departure.

To apply, provide the following completed documents to OISS:

  1. Department Recommendation for Extension (page 2 of extension form)
  2. Declaration and Certification of Finances (pages 3-6 of extension form)
  3. Supporting financial documents for your source of funds (see page 4 of extension form)
For how long will an extension be granted?

Extensions can only be granted for a maximum of one academic year. If additional time is needed, another request for extension must be submitted prior to the end of any current extension.

When can I receive my new I-20?

You will receive your new I-20 approximately 3 to 5 business days after you have submitted your application and supporting documents. OISS will e-mail you when your new I-20 is ready to be picked up.