To be eligible for a program extension, the F-1 international student must be maintaining F-1 student status, making normal progress towards completion of their degree, and have academic requirements remaining. Extensions will only be granted to students who can demonstrate that they have compelling academic or medical reasons [8 CFR 214.2(f)(7)(iii)]. Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for a program extension. Extension requests will not be granted solely because the student was delayed by engaging in authorized employment such as Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
A program extension on the Form I-20 does not extend the F-1 visa stamp in the passport. If your F-1 visa has expired, you are allowed to remain in the U.S., but you must apply for a new visa at a U.S. Consulate the next time you travel outside the U.S. – except for certain short term travel to Canada, Mexico, and certain adjacent islands. You cannot apply for a new F-1 visa or extend an F-1 student visa while in the U.S.
To request an extension, the Program Extension Form must be completed by your academic adviser. This request for an extension must be received by Caitlin 30-60 days prior to the expiration date on your current Form I-20. If you fail to meet the deadline, there is no guarantee that your request will be processed before your SEVIS record completes. This may have a negative impact on your immigration status.