If You Need a Program Extension

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 reason.
    • 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

  1. Complete the Program Extension Request Google form and upload the necessary documents.
  2. Documents required to be uploaded in the Google form:
    1. Academic Advisor's Recommendation (must have advisor's signature)
    2. Either Affidavit of Financial Support (for undergraduate students) OR Certification of Finances Form (graduate students)
    3. Bank statement, OR certificate of deposit, OR letter of funding/scholarship
  3. Additional documents that may be required: 
    1. Proof of medical condition (only if you are applying for an extension for medical reasons)
    2. 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.
    3. 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.