Extension of Stay
Extension of Stay for F-1 Students
What is an "Extension of Stay"?
If you will not complete your academic program by the expected completion date in Section 5 of your current I-20, you must file for an Extension of Stay and receive a new I-20 with a new completion date. This must be done before your current I-20 expires.
When should I apply for the Extension of Stay?
We recommend that you submit your application to our office 30-90 days before the completion date on your current I-20.
- Your extension request must be made and granted prior to the completion date in Section 5 of your current I-20. Immigration regulations do not allow granting an extension to a student who requests the extension after the expected completion date on the current I-20. Failure to file a timely application will therefore result in loss of F-1 status.
- How does this affect the timing of my application? Since large numbers of students will request an Extension of Stay in the weeks prior to February 1, June 15 and September 1, we recommend that you submit to International Student Services your complete Extension of Stay application several weeks before your current I-20 expires. Note: We cannot guarantee that your information will be entered into the SEVIS system before your current completion date unless you submit your documents to us at least one week in advance.
Who is eligible for an Extension of Stay?
To be eligible for an extension of stay, you must show that:
- You are currently in valid F-1 student status AND
- You have maintained F-1 status and continually been a full-time student AND
- You are making normal progress toward completing your course of study AND
- The delay in completion was caused by compelling academic or medical reasons. For example:
- Change of major or research topic
- Unexpected research problems
- Loss of credits upon transfer to MVCC
- Documented illness
Please note: Delays due to academic probation or suspension do not qualify for an extension.
How do I apply for an Extension of Stay?
To apply for an extension, submit the following documents to International Student Services prior to the expected completion date on your current I-20:
- International Student Information Form.
- Academic Advisor’s Recommendation Form.
- Financial documentation. International Student Services will calculate the total amount of financial support that you must document for an Extension of Stay depending upon the number of credit hours you need to complete your program and the number of months/semesters you require to finish your program.
- Register as a full-time student in the next semester.
Will I receive a new I-20?
Yes. After your complete Extension of Stay application is received, International Student Services will extend your SEVIS record and create a new I-20 with a revised completion date. Please keep your new I-20 with all of your previous I-20’s. Do not throw away your old I-20’s. You should carry all of your I-20’s when traveling because you may be required to present them as proof of your immigration history.