Program extension for international students

You must apply for an extension of a program of study if you are unable to complete your studies within the established time limit, 8 CFR 214.2(f)(7)(iii). The established time limit is the program end date in the "Program of Study" section of the I-20.

We recommend you apply for the extension at least 30 days before the program completion date. You are not eligible for a program extension if your program completion date has passed. If the program completion date has passed, meet with an OISS advisor to discuss your options.

Potential reasons for a program extension

An extension beyond the authorized period is possible only under the following reasons:

  • Change of major
  • Change in research topic
  • Unexpected research problems
  • Documented medical reasons
  • Other reasons may be accepted on a case by case basis

Program extension eligibility

  1. Student must be in valid status and making normal progress towards completing their program objective
  2. The student has a valid reason for a program extension (e.g., change of major, unexpected research problems or change in research topic or medical issues)

It is important to note delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension

How to apply for a program of study extension

If you are an F-1 student, take the following steps to apply for an extension of a program of study:

  1. Get academic advisor's recommendation for an extension. Meet with your academic advisor and obtain your academic advisor's recommendation for a program extension.
  2. Submit financial support documentation. Submit copies or original financial support documentation issued within the last 6 months certifying the availability of funding for the requested period of extension. Contact OISS for amount of funding required. Submit a financial data form along with the financial documentation if the funding is from a source other than yourself.
  3. Schedule an appointment with an OISS advisor. Schedule an appointment with an OISS advisor and bring the recommendation form and financial documentation. The OISS advisor will review the documentation and if approved, issue a new I-20 with a new program completion date.
  4. Notify your employer (on-campus employees only). If you work on-campus, you must notify your employer of your new program end date to update your employment information.