Program Extension Main
U.S. federal immigration regulations require that you finish your program of study by the completion date on your SEVIS I-20. If you will not graduate by that date, you must contact ISSC and apply for a program extension at least 30 days before the SEVIS I-20 will expire.
There is no fee to apply for a program extension, and no waiting period to hear from USCIS once the necessary paperwork is submitted. ISSC will approve all program extension requests allowable by federal regulations, and notify SEVIS of your new completion date.
To obtain a program extension, you must show that:
- You have continually maintained status
- The extension is needed for compelling academic or medical reasons, such as a change of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, or a documented illness
Delays in completing your program caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension approval. If your completion of studies date has expired or you do not meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a program extension, it will be necessary to file for reinstatement to F-1 status, for which USCIS will charge a $370.00 fee. In addition, failure to apply for an extension of stay in a timely manner is a violation of F-1 regulations which can carry heavy penalties.
The following items are needed to process a program extension application:
- Extension of program form
- Proof of financial support; an ISSC advisor will provide the amount needed for the extra time of the completion of your studies
Once your program extension application is complete, ISSC will prepare a SEVIS I-20 showing your new completion date and notify USCIS of the change. Be sure to keep this new SEVIS I-20 and all previous SEVIS I-20 forms you have been issued. They must be submitted on request to an immigration officer when you travel outside the U.S. or to ISSC when applying for any benefits for which F-1 students are eligible.