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Program Extension

Last updated on Mar 07, 2024

General Information

Do not let your I-20 expire! The program end date on your I-20 (first page, Program of Study section) is an estimated completion date. If you need additional semesters to complete your degree due to compelling medical or academic circumstances, you must apply for a program extension through ISS before your current program completion date.


Per federal immigration regulations, program extensions may only be granted under the following circumstances:

  • You must have continually maintained your F-1 status prior to the request for a program extension.
  • The reason more time is needed must be due to “compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses". A previous reduced course load approval from ISAP is also considered a compelling reason.
  • Your current I-20 has not yet expired.

Process to Request a Program Extension

Step 1: Download the appropriate Program Extension Form.

  • Undergraduate Program Extension Form (UG)
  • Graduate Program Extension Form (GR)

Step 2: Complete section 1 of the form.

Step 3: Meet with your program advisor (UG) or program chair (GR) and bring the Program Extension Form. Your program advisor or program chair will complete section 2, confirming the reason for the extension and giving an estimate of when you will complete all degree requirements.

Step 4: Schedule an appointment with ISS to turn in the completed Program Extension form and to have your request processed. If it is approved, you will be given a new I-20 with the updated program end date. Please keep in mind that it can take some time to complete this process. We recommend starting the program extension process 30 days before your I-20 expires.

Note: You must request the program extension and receive your updated I-20 before the current program end date on your I-20. If you request a program extension on or after the program end date on your I-20, ISS will not be able to process it and you risk violating your F-1 status.