Extension of Stay

If you will not complete your academic program by the program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019 form, you must apply for an Extension of Program of Study before the end date indicated on your I-20 or DS-2019 form.

  • F-1 students: item 5 on page 1 of your I-20 form indicates the program end date of your SEVIS record.
  • J-1 students: item 3 of your DS-2019 form indicates the program end date of your SEVIS record.

You may lose your lawful F-1 or J-1 status and all associated benefits if you: (1) fail to apply for an extension before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires even if you have a valid reason for extension; OR (2) you apply for an extension but do not meet the requirements for an extension.

ELIGIBILITY FOR AN EXTENSION

Immigration regulations limit the circumstances for which international students may be granted a program extension. Federal Immigration regulations provide that you may be eligible for an extension if: (1) you have continually maintained full-time F-1 or J-1 status AND (2) if you have compelling academic or medical reasons which resulted in a delay in your program completion. 8 CFR sec. 214.2(f)(7)(iii).

Examples of acceptable/compelling reasons for program extension are:

  • Changes in major/research topic
  • Unexpected research difficulties
  • Lost credits upon transfer to Syracuse University
  • Documented illness

The following are examples of unacceptable reasons for program extension:

  • Repeat of course(s) due to unsatisfactory grade
  • Additional time to complete “incomplete” course(s)
  • Failure to work closely or consult with academic advisor
  • Delay of coursework to participate in work experience (CPT) not required for degree
  • Delay of graduation to participate in work experience (CPT) not required for degree
  • Delay due to academic probation or suspension.

PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING AN EXTENSION

Submit the completed I-20 Extension Request Form or the DS-2019 Extension Request Form to the Slutzker Center with the documents listed in the instructions for requesting the I-20 or DS-2019 extension.