Extending Your Current Program (F and J Students)

F-1 and J-1 student regulations require you to be full-time every term and to make normal progress toward your degree, so it’s unusual to need more time. However, there may be extraordinary circumstances. Read on to see if you qualify and how to proceed.

Extending
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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

Reasons for Extension

  • You changed majors or programs or added a dual degree
  • There was a significant change of your thesis/dissertation topic or you had research problems
  • You need to make up for time you lost when you were authorized a reduced course load (RCL) for academic or health reasons
  • You need to compensate for time during a leave of absence

When to Apply

Apply for your extension at least two weeks before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires. Your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) cannot be extended after the program end date.

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How to Apply to Extend Your Current Program

Steps to extend your current program
Step 1

Get your Academic Advisor's recommendation

The letter from your academic advisor or dean (or someone in a similar academic position who is aware of your situation) must spell out the specific reason(s) for requiring more time.

Special procedures:

SEAS M.S. Students: Your department must send an extension request to the Office of Graduate Student Affairs (OGSA). If approved, the OGSA will email the approval for you to print for the application.

GSAS Doctoral Students: Your letter may come from your dissertation advisor or the DGS (Director of Graduate Studies). The letter should include your expected completion date.

Step 2

Submit your forms to us

Either upload the documents below as a single PDF file using our upload form or bring these documents with you during walk-in advising hours.

*This should cover the tuition, fees and living expenses for the additional time. The form lists full academic year expenses. If you are extending for one semester, only calculate half the academic year.

Special procedures:

SEAS M.S. Students: Your department must send an extension request to the Office of Graduate Student Affairs (OGSA). If approved, the OGSA will email the approval for you to include with the application.

GSAS Doctoral Students: Your letter may come from your dissertation advisor or the DGS (Director of Graduate Studies).

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 3

Receive confirmation

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

Step 4

Pick-up your extended I-20 or DS-2019

If the application is complete and you are eligible for the extension you will receive an email from us within 5 business days that your extended I-20 or DS-2019 form is ready to be picked up.

Step 5

Sign and date your new COE and use it when you travel

Keep all previously issued I-20s and DS-2019s. You may need them in the future.