Extending to Begin a New Program (F & J Students)

If you are moving from one program to another at Columbia University, you must apply for a new Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for the new program. Obtaining a new I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019  (J-1) will update your SEVIS record and extend your F or J "duration of status", which is the time you are permitted to stay in the United States as a student. 

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Application Alert

Beginning 9AM Friday, March 10 through 11 AM Monday, March 13, you will not to be able to submit or upload any ISSO applications (including this one) as we conduct our Compass database migration. Do not worry, you will be able to submit applications again starting 12:00 PM Monday, March 13. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

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Before You Apply

Eligibility Requirements

When to Apply 

Earliest Date to Apply for F-1 and J-1 Students: As soon as you are accepted to your new full-time program at Columbia.

Latest date to apply
F-1 : No later than 50 days after your current program completion (to allow time for 60-day deadline)
J-1 Students: Before your current DS-2019 expires. 

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How to Apply

Steps to Extend to begin a new Program
Step 1

Submit your documents to us

Submit the documents below as a single PDF file using our upload form or bring them in printed format to us during walk-in advising hours.

*Keep in mind that this should cover the tuition, fees and living expenses for the first academic year of the new program. Save the form and edit from your computer. Do not edit in a website browser or you will lose all your data. If you have dependents include them in your application.

Step 2

Receive confirmation

You will receive an automated reply from us confirming that your email was received.

Step 3

Wait while we review your application

Once your application has been received, we will review your application for eligibility. If approved we will:

  • Update your SEVIS record with your new program information
  • Prepare a new COE (I-20 or DS-2019) for the new program
Step 4

Receive and review your new I-20/DS-2019

Once your application has been approved, we will email you to pick up your new COE (and the COE for any dependents). Before you leave our office, review for accuracy!

F-1 Students: Your new I-20 start date will be the first date of the new program

J-1 Students:  Your new DS-2019 will begin the day after the current DS-2019 expires.

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Travel while you are in between programs

Re-Entering the U.S.

As long as you have completed the steps above, you can re-enter the U.S. at any time. This is because:

  1. You will keep the same SEVIS number and are considered a continuing student
  2. You are considered legally present in the U.S. in F/J status between the two programs


If your F/J entry visa has expired, the new I-20/DS-2019 establishes the continuance of your F/J  status while you remain in the U.S..

The first time you travel outside the U.S. (except to Canada or Mexico), however, you will need to apply for a new F/J visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

You do not need to pay another SEVIS fee because it is the same SEVIS record.