F-1 Program Extension

How can I qualify for a program extension?

When you enter the U.S. to study full-time as an F-1 student, you receive a Form I-20, which specifies an expected date that you will complete your program of study. For academic programs, this date is 36 months (three years) from your program start date; for the Intensive English Program study only, this date is 12 months (one year) from your program start date.

In some instances, you may not complete your program of study by the end date listed on your Form I-20. If your Form I-20 expires before you complete your studies, you must request an extension of your F-1 visa status. Extensions are granted for one or two semesters, based on your anticipated graduation date. Extensions are granted for valid academic reasons only and are not granted to pursue a non-degree course of study.

It is essential that you submit your application for an extension at least 60 days prior to the expiration of your Form I-20. If you fail to apply in a timely manner, you may face various immigration-related problems, including being ineligible for on-campus employment and practical training. Remember, it is your responsibility to maintain your F-1 visa status. The Center for International Education and Programs is not responsible for your failure to request an extension in a timely manner.

Applying for a Program Extension


You may begin the F-1 Program Extension Application online or download and complete the F1 Program Extension Request - PDF.