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Extending Your Stay

F-1/J-1 students are expected to complete their academic program within the dates listed on their I-20/DS-2019 document. It is important that you communicate these dates to your academic advisor so that you can formulate your degree plan accordingly. It is also important that you make normal progress towards degree completion.

Am I eligible for a Program Extension?

  • I am applying for an extension BEFORE the current end date listed on my I-20/DS-2019 document
  • I have maintained my F-1/J-1 status (including making normal progress towards my degree)
  • The delays to my program were not due to an academic probation or suspension
  • I have a compelling academic or medical reason for requesting an extension to my program

An F-1/J-1 CANNOT EXTEND for reasons such as the following:

  • You have an incomplete in a Spring course and want to extend through the summer to finish the work
  • You have completed all coursework by the end of Spring semester, but missed the deadline to apply for May graduation, so you want to extend through summer
  • You want to enroll in extra courses for personal interest and/or to improve your GPA
  • You need to complete degree requirements that DO NOT require course enrollment
  • You want additional time due to personal issues unrelated to your academic program

ISSS will determine if you are eligible for a program extension. Extensions are only granted under specific circumstances and for compelling academic or medical reasons . An extension cannot be granted based on delays caused by academic probation or suspension. Some examples of compelling reasons for a program extension are listed below:

  • Change of major
  • Change in research topic
  • Unexpected research delays
  • Loss of credits upon transfer to ISU
  • Documented Illness (Doctor’s note required)
  • Original length of time given was inadequate

How do I request a Program Extension?

You should apply for an extension at least 2 weeks before the completion date listed on your I-20/DS-2019 document to allow for adequate time for ISSS to process the extension in SEVIS. If you do not apply before the program end date listed on your I-20/DS-2019 document, you will be considered out-of-status and need to travel to regain status or apply for reinstatement.

NOTE: Students with August end dates on their I-20/DS-2019 documents who will extend past summer semester should apply near the end of the previous Spring semester.

To apply for an extension, please submit a Program Extension Request in the ISSS Portal. After you submit your online request, your Academic Advisor will receive an automatic email notifying them that you have made a request to extend. It is your responsibility to follow up with your Academic Advisor(s) to ensure they submit any additional required forms. Your request cannot be processed until all forms are received.

NOTE: Students working on campus need to bring a copy of their extended I-20/DS-2019 to Human Resources to update their Form I-9.