Program Extension



An F-1 student is admitted to the United States for "duration of status" (D/S) to complete an educational program; however, the student must actually complete his or her program on or before the program end date listed on the I-20. If the student is not able to complete his or her academic program by that date, he or she must request an extension from a DSO before the program end date. If the student failed to apply to the DSO for an extension before the I-20 program end date, then the student is considered out of status, and is not eligible for an extension and is not eligible to have the SEVIS record corrected by the PDSO. The student is also not eligible for OPT and cannot work on-campus. To regain F-1 status in this case, the student would have to either apply for reinstatement or exit the United States and apply for admission with a new SEVIS ID and I-20 issued for initial attendance.


DSOs have discretion to interpret the term "compelling academic or medical reasons." The regulations go on to state that "delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension."



  • The student applies to the DSO for the extension prior to the program end date.
  • The DSO actually updates the SEVIS record to reflect the extension before the program completion date.
  • The student has "continually maintained status" and the DSO can certify that the delay in completion is "caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses."


    1. The student should submit a Request of Program Extension to the DSO indicating why he or she is eligible for a Program Extension.
    2. The student’s academic advisor must submit verification of the reason for the extension and a new program end date to a Baylor DSO.
    3. The student must contact the ISSS Office and arrange a meeting, if necessary, with a DSO to discuss extending his or her program.
    4. If the DSO determines that the student is eligible, then the DSO can update the student’s SEVIS record with the new program end date.
    5. The DSO would then print a new I-20 with the new program end date and give it to the student.