Applying for an F-1 Extension
To qualify for an F-1 extension, you:
- Must apply to the Designated School Official's (DSO) for your extension 30 days before your program's scheduled completion date. The DSO will update the SEVIS record to reflect the extension before the program completion date.
- Must "continually maintained status."
- May apply if completing your degree is delayed by "compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses."
The regulations state that "delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension."
If you fail to complete your academic program within the time prescribed in item 5 of form I-20 and cannot meet the eligibility criteria, your application for program extension is considered out of status. If you are eligible, you may apply for reinstatement of your student status.