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F-1 Program Extension

To apply for a program extension, you may do so anytime within the 30 days before the I-20 expires, i.e., before the date in item #5 on your current I-20. You may need to apply for "reinstatement" to lawful F-1 student status if you either fail to do a program extension on time or are not eligible for it.

The following are eligible reasons for an extension of stay.

  • He or she applies to the DSO for the extension prior to the program completion date, and the DSO actually updates the SEVIS record to reflect the extension before the program completion date.
  • He or she has continually "maintained status."
  • The delay in completion is "caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of majore or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illness," and
  • The regulations go on to state that "delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension".

(3.14.1 NAFSA Manual)

Procedure for Extension:

  • Apply to the DSO sufficiently in advance of the current program completion date to allow the DSO adequate time to approve the extension and update the SEVIS record.
  • Once the approval is received, the DSO will update the SEVIS record and print a new I-20.
  • Once the new I-20 has been prepared the student must sign Item 11.
  • The fee is $195.00