Extension Request Procedures for F-1 Students

F-1 students who are unable to finish their program requirements by the program end date on their I-20 are eligible for program extension if they have continually maintained lawful status. If you or your department have questions about extension, please contact one of our immigration advisors

Eligibility requirements:

The extension request must be approved by IGSS prior to the program end date.  The request must meet the following criteria

  • there is documented evidence of compelling academic or medical reasons for the delay;
  • the extension is supported by the academic department;
  • there is evidence of financial support for the period of time requested or one year, whichever is less; See Financial Requirements for the types and amounts of acceptable funding;
  • the request is submitted at least 3 weeks before the I-20 program end date;
  •  if the extension period will be your final semester and you are eligible to enroll in less than full-time credits, also submit the Request for Reduced Enrollment Form signed by your faculty advisor.
Extensions will not be issued for the following circumstances:
  • to take a class not listed on your Plan of Study
  • delays due to academic probation
  • delays due to authorized off-campus employment (CPT or pre-completion OPT)
  • delays that are not essential to your degree plan

The program extension function in SEVIS is disabled once the program end date has passed. Failure to obtain an extension before your program end date will result in the auto-termination of your F-1 status and you will need to file for reinstatement with USCIS.

Requesting an extension:

  1. Secure necessary financial documents showing sufficient funding for the requested extension period. 
  2. Have your advisor complete and sign the Departmental Support Form, explaining why you need additional time to complete degree requirements, describing your plan for degree completion, and giving us the new completion date for your degree.
  3. Log into the IntlHokies portal and complete the I-20 Extension Request e-form under F-1 Student Services; upload all requested supporting documents, including copy of your passport demographic page; financial documents and departmental support form.
  4. Electronically sign and submit the e-form. You will receive an email confirmation of your submission.
  5. We will notify you by email if more information is needed and when your extension request is approved. Allow 3 weeks for processing.
  6. The program extension will be documented in SEVIS and we'll issue a new I-20 and sign it for travel. Dependent forms, if needed, will also be updated and signed. 

Keep all of your old I-20 forms since you may need them when applying for future immigration benefits.