F1 students are allowed to extend their program if there is an academic or medical reason. The extension must be finalized before the program end date stated on your I-20.
If you fail to update your program end date before that date then you will fall out of status and have to apply for reinstatement.
To qualify for a program extension, F-1 students must meet the following requirements:
- The expiration date of the I-20 has not yet passed
- The student has continuously maintained F-1 student status
- The delay in completion of the program must be due to one of the following reasons:
- Compelling academic reason (change of major)
- Compelling medical reason (documentation is required from U.S. licensed medical physician)
- The student must have sufficient funds to cover the additional time needed to complete program requirements.
Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for a program extension.
When Should I Apply for a Program Extension?
How to Apply for a Program Extension