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Program Extension

Extending your F-1 Status

When you enter the United States (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 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 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 before the expiration of your 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 Global Engagement is not responsible for your failure to request an extension in a timely manner.

Applying for an Extension

Please complete the following steps to apply for an extension. There is no fee to apply for an extension.

  1. Complete Part 1 of the application for the F-1 Visa Extension.
  2. Request an appointment with the International Academic Advisor in the Academic Advising Office. Call 847-214-7390. The International Academic Advisor needs to complete Part 2: Academic Certification.
  3. Collect the following documents for your appointment with the Center for Global Engagement:
    1. Update educational plan.
    2. Current Form I-20.
    3. Unofficial ECC transcript.
    4. Updated bank statement certifying the availability of funds for a year of study at ECC. Check International Education and Programs for current rates.
    5. Completed and signed affidavit of sponsorship from your sponsor(s).
  4. Once you have collected all of the documents listed above. To schedule an appointment, call the Center for Global Engagement at 847-214-7809.

You can apply for an extension online or download the F1 Program Extension Request - PDF.