Extension of I-20 Program End Date

I-20 Program End Date

If you are in F-1 status, item #5 of your I-20 indicates the program completion date of your SEVIS record.

If you will not complete your academic program by that program end date, you must apply for an extension of your I-20 end date before your document expires. 

You may lose your lawful F-1 status and all associated benefits if you: (1) fail to apply for an extension before your I-20 expires even if you have a valid reason for extension; OR (2) you apply for an extension but do not meet the requirements for an extension.

Eligibility for an I-20 Extension

Immigration regulations limit the circumstances for which international students may be granted a program extension. Federal Immigration regulations provide that you may be eligible for an extension if: (1) you have continually maintained full-time F-1 status AND (2) if you have compelling academic or medical reasons which resulted in a delay in your program completion. 8 CFR sec. 214.2(f)(7)(iii).

Examples of acceptable/compelling reasons for program extension are:

  • Changes in major/research topic;
  • Unexpected research difficulties;
  • Lost credits upon transfer into Syracuse University; or
  • Documented illness

The following are examples of unacceptable reasons for program extension:

  • Repeat of course(s) due to unsatisfactory grade;
  • Additional time to complete “incomplete” course(s);
  • Failure to work closely or consult with academic advisor;
  • Delay of coursework to participate in work experience (CPT) not required for your degree;
  • Participation in CPT when all coursework is complete; or
  • Delay caused by academic probation or suspension.

Procedure for Requesting and I-20 Extension

Please plan ahead and allow at least two weeks for your request to be processed.

  1. Complete Part I of the I-20 Extension Request Form and the F-1 Financial Worksheet
  2. Attach photocopies of the following documents for you (and your dependents):
    • Proof of financial support equivalent to estimated expenses for the extension period as calculated on the Financial Worksheet
      • Acceptable financial documentation includes: current personal bank statement or available balance page of your online account information; assistantship letter; tuition scholarship letter; stipend letter; fellowship letter; and a notarized letter from a sponsor (relative or third-party) indicating their funding commitment to your education along with sponsor’s current bank statement.
    • Enrollment Certification (from the Office of the Registrar's Office) to verify full-time enrollment throughout your program.
    • Passport biography page and expiration date page, visa, and I-94 card
    • All I-20s (page 1 only if no CPT or OPT authorizations; page 1 and 3 if CPT or OPT has ever been authorized)
    • Proof of valid health insurance including Medical Evacuation and Repatriation coverage
  3. Have your Academic Advisor’s complete Part II of the I-20 Extension Request Form and sign.
  4. Submit I-20 Extension Request Form with F-1 Financial Worksheet and required photocopies to the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies (227 Bray Hall) to obtain the Dean's signature.
  5. Upon review, the Dean will forward your completed request to the Office of International Education. You will be notified via email whether your extension request was approved or denied. If your request was approved, an extended I-20 will be issued and available for pick-up at the Office of International Education.


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