An extension of stay is required for students who do not complete their degree program by the completion date specified on the I-20 form. The USCIS has outlined specific reasons that necessitate the need for an extension. These reasons include:
- Change of major
- Need for additional courses
- Documented Medical Illness
- Documented Family Emergency
Students must contact their DSO to obtain the paperwork necessary to apply for an extension. Students must apply for an extension at least 30 days (but no more than 90 days) prior to the program end date printed on the I-20. Students who fail to apply for an extension before the completion date will be considered out of status and may not be eligible for the reinstatement.
A student may be eligible for an extension if:
- Student has remained in F-1 status.
- Student has a legitimate reason, which has been documented.
- Student continually maintained full-time student status.
- Student has submitted a completed Notice of Future Intentions form, Academic Advisor’s Recommendation for an Extension form (available from your ADSO/DSO), and updated Foreign Student Financial Statement (with required support documents).
NOTE: Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for extending your I-20.
Failure to apply for an extension or denial of the request for an extension will result in automatic termination of your SEVIS record. Thus, you will be considered out of status and unlawfully present in the United States. Depending on your circumstances, you may have the opportunity to apply for reinstatement.