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An I-20 extension changes the program end date on your I-20 to a future completion date. 

You can find your I-20 expiration date on your most recent I-20 page one, in the “Program of Study” box under “Program End Date.” If you will not complete your program by this date, you must request an I-20 extension by submitting the appropriate documents to You should do this at least one month before the I-20 expires

To be eligible, you must be maintaining F-1 status and be in good academic standing. You are eligible for an I-20 extension if the delay in your completion of study is “caused by compelling academic or medical reasons.” Valid reasons include change of major or documented illness. Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not valid reasons for an I-20 extension. A change or addition of a minor is also not a valid reason for I-20 extension.

If your I-20 has expired (program end date has passed), you are considered out of valid legal status. To regain valid F-1 status, you have the option to exit the U.S. and apply for a new I-20, or stay in the U.S. and apply for reinstatement to F-1 status. Reinstatement requires an application with USCIS and can take up to two years. You should schedule an appointment to speak with an OIA advisor and we also strongly recommend you to consult with an immigration attorney.


Please scan or combine these documents as a single PDF and email to at least one month prior to your I-20 expiration date.

1) Write a statement that explains the reason(s) why you need an I-20 extension, specify the end date you are expected to finish, and what happened to cause the need. Include any documentation that relates to your explanation.

2) Obtain a Degree Audit from the Registrar or your academic advisor/department. If there are still classes that are not properly reflected on your degree audit, (for example, grade corrected, class substituted or waived), please ask your advisor to update your degree audit with the Registrar.

3) Provide a new financial statement. The amount you need to show depends on whether you only need an I-20 extension for one semester as compared to a full academic year. 

Your funding must be demonstrated through liquid funds, whether they are yours, a sponsor’s, or some combination. That means the funds must be available without significant movement in price and with minimum loss of value. Therefore, Life Insurance, a mortgage, proof of salary of sponsor, mutual funds or stocks are not acceptable.

4) If your financial statement is not in your name, the account holder should provide an Affidavit of Support.

After you email your documents to, a Designated School Official (DSO) will review your request. If approved, the DSO will update the I-20 end date and you will receive your updated I-20 via email.