F-1 International students are eligible to extend their program dates on their I-20 if they need more time to complete their program of study.
- The extension must be completed in the government database SEVIS before the end date on the I-20. If the extension is not done before the end date, the student will automatically be terminated (for more information, please read procedures to extend the I-20 below).
- An extension can only be done for a maximum of one year. Students who require additional time beyond one year must file another extension up to one semester before the new end date.
- Students should start the extension process up to a semester before the end date to ensure enough time is available to complete the extension process.
- A student must be maintaining their status and be making normal progress towards degree completion to be eligible for an extension.
- Delays in graduation due to suspensions, or probations are not considered a basis for an extension.
- The student must receive a letter from the academic advisor or department chair that:
- States why the student needs more time to complete his/her program of study (this can be a brief couple of sentences, but it must clearly state the reasons the student needs more time)
- Whether or not the student is making normal progress towards degree completion (that he/she is not deliberately delaying his/her program requirements)
- The date the department expects the student to complete the requirements of the program (this date is not set "in stone", it can be a close estimate)
- The international advisor will determine whether the letter from the advisor specifically addresses if a student is maintaining normal progress towards degree completion.
- An original bank statement given by the student that shows enough funds to cover the period of the extension.
- The bank statement can be from any individual or company. If the student will have two or more sponsors, there must be an original bank statement from each sponsor showing the exact amount the sponsor is willing to provide
- Each bank statement must be less than one year old from the time of the current end date
- If the student is receiving a scholarship from the university, the student must receive a letter detailing the funding amount from the source providing the scholarship. The letter must state the period of time in which the funds are valid.
- An original letter from each sponsor stating they agree to sponsor the student.
- The letter must be signed and dated
- If the student is sponsoring themselves, they do not need to provide a letter.
- The above 3 items must be submitted to an international advisor in the Office of International Programs. The advisor must then use the documents to extend the I-20. This process can take up to 5 days.
- If the student fails to provide the first 3 documents to the international advisor in enough time prior to the end date (at least 5 days), the student may be terminated and will need to file for reinstatement.
- If a student is terminated for failing to complete the necessary steps to extend their I-20, and he/she submits an application for reinstatement of status, he/she may not be eligible to apply for any Optional Practical Training (OPT).