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It is important that you finish your program of study by the "Program End Date" on your I-20 (page 1). This end date is the average length of time for students to complete the degree requirements pertaining to their program of study. If you require additional classes or time to finish your academic program or doctoral dissertation during the course of your studies, you may be eligible to apply for an extension on your I-20.


  • A student MUST submit a request for program extension at least ONE month prior to your "Program End Date" on your I-20.
  • You must work with your program of study or academic advisor to determine the additional time that is required to complete the degree requirements.
  • Failure to extend your program end date BEFORE your current I-20 end date is a violation of F-1 federal regulations. You will be out of status, which will result in termination of your SEVIS record, as well as a negative impact on your F-1 status. If eligible, you may apply for reinstatement with USCIS, for which you will have to pay a substantial fee.


An F-1 student must show that she/he has continually maintained status and that the delays are caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses. Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extensions. A DSO may not grant an extension if the student did not apply for an extension until after the program end date noted on the Form I-20. [8 CFR 214.2(f)(7)(iii)]

You may be eligible for an extension if you meet the following criteria:
  • Currently in valid F-1 status
  • The extension is requested before the end date on your current I-20
  • The delays are caused by academic or medical reasons
  • Need additional time for required coursework or classes
  • Need additional time to complete doctoral dissertation (applicable to PhD students only)
You may not be eligible for an I-20 extension if you are requesting for an extension for any of the following reasons:
  • Enroll in extra coursework for personal interest or to improve GPA
  • Complete pending coursework for a grade that was marked incomplete
  • Participate in non-required Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or enroll in coursework that was delayed by participating in non-required CPT
  • Complete coursework delayed by academic probation or suspension

How to Request for an Extension

To apply for an I-20 extension, you must submit the request at least ONE month before the end date on your current I-20. Extensions are generally granted for up to one year at a time.

For PhD students, once you have submitted the required documents listed below, your request for extension will be forwarded to the Graduate School leadership for their approval. We will notify you when your request has been approved.

1. Meet with your program coordinator, academic advisor or PI to obtain his/her approval.

2. Submit the I-20 Extension Request e-form, including a letter from your program of study or academic advisor with the following information.

  • Proposed program completion date
  • Reason for the extension:
    • Additional coursework
    • A change in research topics
    • Unexpected research problems
    • Student needs additional time due to academic or medical reasons

3. We will notify you when your new I-20 is ready. Please allow up to 5 business days to process your request.

I20 Extension



Clive Liew

Student Services Administrator

Book an appointment with WCGS International Student Services using SetMore

Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1300 York Ave. Box 65 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6565 Fax: (212) 746-5981

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