Extending Your Program
Each I-20 has a Program Start Date and Program End Date listed on page 1. When an OIP advisor issues an I-20, the program is set for a standard length of 2-5 years, depending on the academic program.
Each student should be familiar with their own I-20 Program End Date, because it is the date their I-20 expires. If your I-20 expires and you have not already completed your program, you are out of status and must consult with an OIP advisor immediately to determine your options.
Your I-20 Program End Date may not correspond with your actual expected graduation. In some cases, the student may complete the program before the I-20 Program End Date. In other cases, the student may need additional time beyond the I-20 Program End Date to complete the program.
OIP will email you 90, 60, and 30 days before your I-20 expires, but it is your responsibility to know your Program End Date and take action before your I-20 expires. The email will come from email@example.com and will explain your options. You should thoroughly review the email you receive.
If you are a full-time student and you will not complete your program before your Program End Date, you must request an extension at least 30 days before your I-20 expires. Submit the "F-1 Extension of Program" request from the "F-1 Student Services" tab through Sunapsis. Approval from your academic advisor is required. If you are a Graduate Student, approval from the Graduate School is also required. Your academic advisor will indicate your anticipated graduation date to determine how long your I-20 will be extended, and why an extension is needed.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) mandates that an I-20 may only be extended under certain circumstances. We cannot approve an extension if you are not making academic progress in your degree, or if you simply made poor decisions.
Here are some common examples of times when we may approve an I-20 extension:
- You changed your major
- You added a second major
- You were not given enough time to complete the program on your I-20 initially
- You participated in full-time CPT
- You are working on a thesis, dissertation, or final project and something delayed completion
- You were approved for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) by OIP for an illness or medical condition at some point during your program
Each student’s extension request will be given careful consideration.
Part-Time Border Commuters
- Part-Time Border Commuters will always receive an I-20 that is valid for one semester at a time. These students must apply to renew their I-20 each semester in order to continue studying.
- Part-Time Border Commuters MUST apply to renew their I-20 at least 30 days before it expires by completing the "Part Time Border Commuter Request" in the "F-1 Student Services" tab through Sunapsis. This request does not require approval from your academic advisor or the Graduate School.
- OIP will email you 90, 60, and 30 days before your I-20 expires. The email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org and will explain your options.