Program Extensions

If you will not finish your program by the end date on your I-20 you must request a program extension before your end date.  Processing time is 7 business days. Your I-20 must be extended before the expiration date or you will be out of status.

To apply for a program extension submit the following documents to the Office of Global Initiatives (OGI):

  1. Extension Form. Your academic advisor must provide an explanation of a compelling academic or medical reason for the delay in completion and your new expected completion date.  OGI cannot extend your I-20 in order to facilitate employment.
  2. Financial documentation showing enough funding to cover all your expenses (and your dependents) for the additional time needed. Funding documents cannot be older than 6 months. Your I-20 can be extended up to a year at a time. Each subsequent extension will require more detailed documentation.

"I will finish my requirements this semester but my I-20 has an end date in a future semester. Can I take additional courses in order to apply for CPT or look for a job?"

No. If you have completed all of your degree requirements, you must graduate and your I-20 end date will be shortened. You cannot unduly delay your graduation to facilitate employment. 

" My academic adviser has suggested taking a couple of courses that I don't need in order to improve my resume. Can I extend my program for this reason?" 

No. If you have completed your program requirements, you must graduate. Remember: academic advisers help all kind of students. They are not required to know the federal regulations that govern F and J visas. If you have questions after meeting your academic adviser, and want to know if his or her recommendation affects your immigration status, get in touch with your OGI adviser. 

"Can I take only online courses in my final semester?"

No. You must have at least one in-person (face to face) class in your final semester, even if it's the summer term.