As an F-1 student, you are granted a specific period of time to complete your degree requirements. This period of time is reflected in Section 5 of your Form I-20, which indicates your "completion date." If you are unable to finish your degree requirements by that date, you must apply for a Program Extension.
To qualify for a Program Extension, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have completed a full course load every semester, and otherwise be in valid F-1 status
- You have compelling and unavoidable academic or medical reasons for needing more time to complete your program
- You must apply for a program extension before your I-20 expires
- You must have sufficient funds to cover the remaining time needed to complete your requirements
If you wish to apply for a Program Extension, you must bring the following documents to CIP:
- Your I-20, I-94 card, and passport
- Current financial documentation verifying your financial ability
- A letter from your academic advisor confirming your anticipated completion date, detailed reasons stating why you were unable to complete on time and therefore need an extension , and your remaining academic obligations
An advisor at CIP will review your application. If your request is approved, the advisor will issue a new I-20 to you with a new completion date, which includes updating your SEVIS record.
You are not eligible for a Program Extension if you have not maintained lawful F-1 status, your need for more time is due to academic probation or unsatisfactory progress, or if you submit a late request for an extension.
If you are ineligible for a Program Extension due to one of the above reasons, please speak to an advisor at CIP regarding the Reinstatement procedures.