Extending the F-1 Form I-20
Students may need to extend their F-1 status for an academic reason, a medical reason, or a designated school official (DSO) error. In these cases, DSOs can extend a student’s program of study prior to the program end date in SEVIS. For F-1 students, this update does not require the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s (SEVP) adjudication. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) allows for an extension period of up to one year.
Regulations and Policy
Check these regulations and policy guidance to determine if your F-1 student is eligible for an extension:
- [F-1] Extension of Stay: 8 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 214.2(f)(7)
- Determining Financial Status of F-1 and M-1 Students: 9 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) 402.5-5(G)(1), which implements the financial requirements for nonimmigrant students in 22 CFR 41.61(b)(1)(ii)
Before you extend, it is best practice to:
- Obtain an explanation from the student’s advisor/instructor for the extension and the new program end date.
- Obtain current financial documentation showing enough funds to pay tuition and living expenses for the student and any dependents.
- Update Financial Information in SEVIS.
Always print, sign and issue to students an updated Form I-20 with adjusted program dates.
Extending F-1 Status
To extend the student’s F-1 status:
1. Search for the student in SEVIS and go to the Student Information page.
2. Click Extend Program under the Actions column. The Extend Program page opens. The Extend Program page allows users to view and enter required information on a student’s program extension.
- Enter the New Program End Date.
- This date must be after the current date.
- This is a required field.
- Enter the reason for the Medical or Academic Circumstances that Necessitate the Extension. This field is required.
- Click Extend Program to submit the new information. If the program extension is successful, an Update Successful page opens.
- Select either Return to View Record or Print I-20.
- Return to View Record: Returns to Student Information page.
- Print I-20: Prints a new Form I-20 for the student.
It is a best practice to print a copy of the Form I-20 for the student, if the program end date changes.
Reviewing Program Extensions
To view the newly made program extension:
1. Go to the Student Information page.
2. Select Event History under the View tab. The Event History page opens.
3. Click the Plus icon on the Program Extension row to display the extension data.