F-1/I-20 extension of stay for graduate and undergraduate students
Immigration & Visas
F-type visa information
- Change of non-immigrant status F-1 to F-2
- Change of non-immigrant status F-2 to F-1
- Change of status from H-1B to F-1 student
- Optional Practical Training for F-1 students
- Optional Practical Training for F-1 Undergraduate Students
- Optional Practical Training for F-1 Graduate Students
- 17-month OPT Extension
- 17 Month STEM OPT Extension Request Form and Process
- OPT and 17-Month STEM 6 month Validation Report
- Termination of Employment Report
- H-1B Visa Cap-Gap Extension Request Form
- F-1 Reinstatement
- F-1/I-20 extension of stay for graduate and undergraduate students
- Inviting an F-2 dependent
- F-1 students: Transferring schools
- J-type visa information
- Other Immigration and Visa Information
As an F-1 student, you were admitted to the United States for "D/S" as indicated on your I-94 (small, white card). D/S, or Duration of Status, means that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you maintain lawful full time student status. However, the Immigration requires that you finish your program of study by the expected completion date noted in section 5 of your I-20. If you will not complete your program by the expected completion date, you must file for an extension. Failure to file a timely application will result in the loss of your F-1 status and could jeopardize your legal status in the U.S.
To be eligible for an extension of stay you must:
- Continually maintain your full-time F-1 status AND
Have compelling academic or medical reasons for any delay
in completing your program, such as:
- Change of major or research topic
- Unexpected research problems
- Loss of credits upon transfer to Rensselaer
- Documented illness
Please note: Delays due to academic probation or suspension do not qualify for extension. In this case you would have to apply for reinstatement.
Applying for an extension
A. To apply for an extension, please submit the following to the ISSS Office:
- For Graduate Students a F-1/I-20 Graduate Student Extension Form.
- For Undergraduate Students a F-1/I-20 Undergraduate Student Extension form.
- Your original I-20
- A letter showing financial support from your department only if you are receiving financial support, or a sponsor letter.
B. You may apply for an extension anytime before the completion date shown on the I-20. You cannot apply for an extension once the completion date has expired.
C. Upon favorable review of your application for extension, the ISSS Office will type a new I-20 for you, which you will have to sign.
When you submit your documents you will be told when to return to sign your new I-20. Immigration requires you to keep all copies of your I-20s together.