Document Updates

I-20 or DS-2019 Extension

An extension is the process of obtaining a new I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students) to extend a student’s authorized period of study in the U.S. If you will not be able to complete your academic objective before the expiration date of your current I-20 or DS-2019, you should request a “program extension” or extension of your I-20 or DS-2019.

To review your document expiration date, please refer to the first page of your document.

  • F-1 students: Check for your end date under “program of study.”
  • J-1 students: Check for your end date in section three of the form.

Timing

The regulations require students to obtain extensions before the expiration date on their current I-20 or DS-2019. The best time period to apply for an extension is generally 1-3 months prior to the expiration of your documents.

Eligibility

You are eligible for a program extension if:

  • You have maintained your F-1 or J-1 status
  • Your I-20 or DS-2019 has not expired
  • Your delay in completion of your program was caused by compelling academic or medical reasons including:
    • Change in major
    • Multiple majors (undergraduates)
    • Lost credits upon transfer to Miami (undergraduates)
    • Unexpected research problems (graduates)
    • Documented illness
  • You have maintained normal academic progress and your program of study is achievable within a reasonable amount of time.

If you are applying for a program extension for a different reason than listed above, you may wish to speak to an ISSS advisor. Academic problems such as failing grades or being placed on academic warning and probation are not acceptable reasons for an extension of program.

Procedure for obtaining a program extension

  • Login to your InterLink account
    • Click on the blue login button.  Login with your Miami unique ID and password.
    • Go to “F-1 Student Services” if you are an F-1 student or “J-1 Student Services” if you are a J-1 student.
  • Complete the e-form “Program Extension Request.”
  • Obtain and upload new financial documentation showing how you are funding your studies when completing the “Program Extension Request” e-form. View the Expenses Chart to find out how much you need to show for your financial documentation
  • Once you complete the e-form request, your academic advisor will need to review it. Your advisor will receive an e-mail message from ISSS which will provide a link to review your request. Your advisor will be asked to comment on your request, explain why you need more time to finish your degree requirements, and what it is that you still need to complete for your degree. The length of time allowed for a program extension is based on the recommendation of your advisor.
  • After your advisor comments on your e-form request, ISSS will review your request. You will be contacted by e-mail after your request is processed. If you are eligible for an extension, ISSS will extend your SEVIS record and print a new I-20 or DS-2019 with a new end date.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I fail to complete my program on time and miss the deadline to apply for a program extension or am ineligible for a program extension?

You are considered “out of status” and must seek to regain status.  Please seek ISSS support!

Should I apply for a program extension if I change from a Bachelor's to a Master's program, or from a Master's to a PhD program?

No, instead you should submit a “new degree program” request to ISSS. Review more information on Graduate Admission.

I have finished all my degree requirements, but I would like more time for personal reasons or plan to take coursework for fun. Can I be approved for a program extension?

If you have completed all degree requirements for your program of study, ISSS may not extend your I-20 or DS-2019. However, if you have maintained status, you will have a grace period to remain in the U.S.

I just started my studies at Miami but I already know I will need more time. Can I go ahead and apply for a program extension?

ISSS recommends that you submit your request 1-3 months in advance of your document’s expiration. Our office receives the most accurate academic information from you and your department at that time which aids us in making informed decisions about your I-20 and DS-2019. However, if you feel your situation is more urgent, please connect with an ISSS advisor to discuss your situation in more detail.