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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To receive a new COE you must be:

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Before You 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.

Gather your documents and information


Log in to Compass with your UNI and password to submit your application

Please click the appropriate link below:

Not sure of your campus? Check our campus school list.
Need help using Compass? Learn more on our Compass User Guide.

Step 3.

We will contact you

Allow up to 10 business days for us to review and process your application. 

  • F-1: If your request is approved, we will email your new digital Form I-20 for a new program for you to print with additional instructions. 
  • J-1: We will notify you by email when your new extended DS-2019 is ready to be shipped. Per Department of State J Regulations, digital DS-2019 forms are not permitted to be emailed.
Step 4.

Review, sign, and date your new I-20/DS-2019

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.

Use your new COE to travel, but keep all previous forms. The travel signature is valid for 12 months or until the end of your I-20/DS-2019, whichever is earlier.

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Travel while you are in between programs

As long as you have the new I-20/DS-2019 for the new program,  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

You may continue to use an unexpired F/J entry visa.

If your visa has expired, the new I-20/DS-2019 establishes the continued validity of your F/J  status while you remain in the U.S., but the first time you travel outside the U.S. (except to Canada or Mexico), 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. Have your SEVIS fee receipt with you when you need to apply for a new visa.