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Read These Reminders About Program End Dates

January 18, 2024

As a new session starts, designated school officials (DSOs) should be mindful of the program end dates (PEDs) listed on your international students’ Forms I-20, “Certificates of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” Students should also monitor their PEDs and, if necessary, request a PED extension before the current program end date has passed.

Common reasons for updated PED include:

  • Student is going to start the program of study at a later term.
  • Student is coming for an earlier term.
  • DSO entered the wrong dates.
  • Student’s application to change status to F or M status is still pending with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Student completed the program of study before the anticipated program end date.
  • Student is in a master’s or doctorate program, has completed all in-class course work, and has requested post-completion optional practical training (OPT) while working on a thesis or dissertation.

Best Practices for DSOs

Before you submit a student’s extension request, it is best practice to:

  • Obtain an explanation from the student’s advisor/instructor for the extension and the new PED.
  • Obtain current financial documentation showing enough funds to pay tuition and living expenses for the student and any dependents.
  • Update Financial Information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

The extension process differs for F-1 and M-1 student records. Visit the SEVIS Help Hub for instructions:

It is also a best practice to issue a new Form I-20 when the information on the Form I-20 changes. It is important for the student to receive the updated Form I-20. The Form I-20 is the only place a student sees the updated PED. Students are expected to keep all Forms I-20 issued during their academic career. The Form I-20 can be signed and transmitted electronically based on the Oct. 12, 2021, SEVP Policy Guidance: Use of Electronic Signatures and Transmission for the Form I-20.

Best Practices for Students

Make sure you have a copy of your latest Form I-20 to keep track of your PED. If you are unsure whether you have your latest Form I-20 or if your PED is correct, talk to your DSO.

Save These Resources

See these resources for additional information about program dates:

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