F-1 or J-1 students must complete their academic program requirements in a set amount of time. The program end date is printed on page one of the I-20 or DS-2019. Students unable to meet their academic program requirements by the program end date must apply for a program extension before their program end date. If you request a program extension after your end date, we will no longer be able to process the extension.
Requesting a program extension to participate in Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) will not be authorized due to federal rules and regulations.
Extension Eligibility Criteria
You may qualify for an extension if:
- Your I-20/DS-2019 expiration date has not passed.
- You continuously maintained F-1/J-1 student status.
- Your delay in completing your program is because of a compelling academic or medical
- Academic reasons include change of major, change in research topic, unexpected research problems, etc.
- A medical reason requires documentation from the student health center or a US-licensed medical physician.
How to Request an Extension
- Complete the Program Extension Request Google form and upload the necessary documents.
- Documents required to be uploaded in the Google form:
- Additional documents that may be required:
- Proof of medical condition (only if you are applying for an extension for medical reasons)
- If you already had a program extension approved in the past, you must upload a letter from your academic advisor (written on a departmental letterhead and containing the advisor's signature), explaining why another extension is needed. It is rare that second program extensions are granted.
- If you are currently on a Reduced Course Load (RCL) due to academic reasons, you must upload a letter from your academic advisor (written on a departmental letterhead and containing the advisor's signature), explaining why a program extension is needed.
Processing a program extension request may take up to 5 working days. We strongly recommend you submit the extension request as soon as possible, and no later than 1-2 months prior to the expiration of your current I-20 or DS-2019.
IPS will email you once your request is processed and a new I-20 or DS-2019 is generated. If you are an F-1 or J-1 visa holder, you will receive only a soft copy of the I-20 or DS-2019 with a digital signature. The government is now allowing electronic signatures on immigration documents, so a hard copy of this document is no longer needed. Please be sure you print this document in your own time for travel purposes.