F-1 students who do not complete their program of study by the expiration date on their I-20 must apply for a program extension before the current I-20 expiration date. It is not possible to extend your F-1 program after the I-20 end date has passed. Failure to extend your stay could jeopardize your legal status and require that you depart the U.S. or file with USCIS for reinstatement of your student status.
To apply for a program extension:
- Meet with your academic/faculty advisor to discuss the extension.
- Complete the Program Extension Request which will be routed to your advisor for approval before submitted to OGE.
- Gather evidence of funds – the amount of financial support required must be sufficient to cover tuition, fees, and living expenses for the first year of the extended period. If the extended period is just for one semester, only one semester’s funding evidence will be required.
- An OGE advisor will review your request. If there are questions, you will be contacted via email.
- OGE will issue a new I-20 to reflect the end date of the approved extended period and the new funding. You should keep this I-20 along with any previously issued I-20s for your records.
Please note: The extension procedure will extend your I-20 but not your visa stamp. If you have an expired visa stamp in your passport, you are permitted to remain in the U.S with a valid I-20. However, the next time you travel out of the U.S., you need to apply for a new F-1 visa to re-enter the country.