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.
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:
The following are examples of unacceptable reasons for program extension:
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.