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Extending F-1 or J-1 Visa Status

If you require additional time to complete your academic program, then you will need to extend your I-20 or DS-2019.  Extending your I-20/DS-2019 also extends your F-1/J-1 status.  You must apply for an extension before your I-20/DS-2019 end date!  Failure to do so may result in inconvenient and costly travel abroad in order to regain status. 

Extension Eligibility

To be eligible for an extension, a student must have an academic, medical, or family emergency reason. Some examples include:

  • Change of major, addition of major, or addition of minor
  • Change in research topic
  • Unexpected research problems
  • Additional time needed to complete required classes
  • Documented medical illness
  • Approved Leave of Absence for personal, medical, or family reasons

How to Apply for an Extension

Submit your Program Extension request in the OISS Portal at least 2 weeks before your I-20/DS-2019 Program End Date. Your Program Extension request is sent to your academic advisor, as indicated by you in the request. Your recommender confirms that you need an extension and for which reason and term. Your OISS advisor begins processing your request once it is in “Submitted” status in the portal.

F-1 Students: 

If you have a significant change in your source of funding, you must submit new proof of funding documents to cover the extended period of your I-20. If your funding source has not changed, you are not required to submit new proof of funding documents.

J-1 Students: 

You must provide proof of sufficient funding to cover the extended period of your I-20/DS-2019.  You may provide a bank statement, bank letter or letter from your department/program.

NOTE: if your advisor/department will be funding your extension then you may obtain a letter that reflects the funding guarantee.

 Please review the financial documentation requirements for more details on what documents are acceptable.



Please note that the processing time for an approved (by the academic advisor) and submitted extension application is up to 5 business days.