Per U.S. federal regulations, a student in F-1 status who is unable to meet the program completion date on the Form I-20 may be granted an extension if the student has continually maintained status and if the delays are caused by compelling academic or medical reasons. Extensions based on academic reasons must be verified by the student's academic advisor. Extensions based on medical reasons must be verified by the academic advisor and a licensed medical physician.
The I-20 must be extended prior to the expiration date or the student will have to apply for reinstatement to Immigration.
I-20 Extensions are granted in maximum 12-month increments.
Acceptable Reasons for an I-20 Extension
- Addition of a major/minor or dual degree program
- Delays caused by unexpected research problems
- Delays caused by a change in research topic
- Delays caused by absence/change of required thesis committee members
- Delays in program due to a verified medical condition
Applying for an I-20 Extension
Step 1: Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss an extension of your academic program.
Step 2: Submit the Extension of I-20 or DS-2019 form to the Reves Center no later than 2 weeks before your I-20 expires.
Before submitting, be sure your academic advisor is aware of your extension request, as they will receive an email with a link to an online form that they must complete before we can approve it. As a part of your extension form, you will need to submit updated financial documentation.
Step 3: If your extension is approved, the Reves Center will authorize the extension in SEVIS. If it is not approved, the Reves Center will notify you and your academic advisor
Extending your I-20 for a New Program
If you are a current W&M student who has been admitted to a new academic program (e.g., a Bachelor’s student who has been accepted to a Master’s program), your I-20 must be updated with the new information before it expires. Once you are officially admitted to the new academic program, you will receive an email from iStart with instructions on how to request your new I-20. If you do not receive the email within a week of your admission, please contact the [[w|istart,Reves Center]].