Extension of F-1 Program

Regulatory Reference: 8 CFR 214.2(f)(7)(iii)-(iv)


F-1 and J-1 students may apply to the SEVIS Compliance Office at KSU for an extension of  their status if they  have not completed their program of study by their current I-20 expiration date. Approval of extension requests is at the discretion of the SEVIS Compliance Office advisors. In order to preserve the integrity of Kennesaw State University federal certification to enroll F-1 students, the SEVIS Compliance Office may deny extension requests that do not meet the criteria below.


F-1 students who are eligible for an extension of program/status must meet the following criteria:

  • Students who are eligible must submit all documents for an extension request at least one month prior to his or her I-20 expiration date. The I-20 expiration date is listed on the I-20.

  • The student has continually maintained and is currently maintaining F-1 status. More information on maintaining F-1 status.

  • The delay in completion of studies is caused by compelling, substantive academic or medical reasons. Such reasons may include changes of major or thesis/dissertation topic, unexpected research problems, or a documented medical illness. Delays caused by poor grades or academic probation or suspension are not valid reasons for program extension.

  • The student is making normal academic progress towards the degree objective listed on the Form I-20. Normal progress is the rate at which the average full-time student in the program of study completes the program requirements.

Application Procedures

F-1 students are not in lawful status if their Form I-20 expires.

It is your responsibility to be familiar with the information on your I-20 at all times, including its expiration date.  If you will not complete your degree program before the current expiration date on your I-20, you must:

  • Request an I-20 extension BEFORE it expires.

  • Review the Extension of F-1 Program Policy for more details before applying for an extension.

  • AFTER your  I-20 expires, you can no longer request an extension. You will have to apply for Reinstatement.

How to apply for an I-20 Extension

  • Contact SEVIS compliance officer to schedule an appointment via email at SEVIS@kennesaw.edu, in the subject line write “I-20 Extension”

Please Note

  • Financial Documentation: If you are receiving a tuition waiver, scholarship, stipend or other financial support from KSU, provide an updated letter of financial support from your academic department, along with updated bank statements. For extension requests, financial support must be shown per semester up to a year.

  • Annual Increases: Tuition and fees are subject to annual increases. Be sure to contact the SEVIS Office to confirm how much financial support you should document.

  • No Guarantee: Submitting the I-20 Extension request does not guarantee approval of the request. There must be compelling academic or medical reasons in order to be eligible for an extension.

Next Steps

  • The SEVIS Compliance Office advisor will review your request within 3-5 business days and notify you by email of a decision or follow up information needed, if required.

  • If you are not eligible for an extension you will unfortunately not be able to continue your F-1 status at Kennesaw State University. If that is the case, an advisor in the SEVIS Compliance Office will meet with you to discuss your options.

Length of Extension Granted

The SEVIS Compliance Office may extend a student’s F-1 status in accordance with the recommendation provided by the student’s academic advisor on the I-20/DS-2019 Extension Request Form. For example, if the academic advisor indicates that a student only has one semester of program requirements remaining, the SEVIS Compliance Office will only extend for one semester.

The maximum amount of time an extension may be granted is one year from the date of the SEVIS Compliance Office approval, not from the I-20 expiration date. The end date of the extended I-20 will coincide with the last day of finals of the semester in which the extension period will end.

Example 1: A student is approved for a one-year extension on November 1, 2013 (during the Fall 2013 semester). The student will receive an extension through December 16, 2014 (which is the last day of finals of the Fall 2014 semester.)

Example 2: A student’s I-20 will expire on May 31, 2014. On December 1, 2013, the student requests an extension. The extension request form indicates that the student will not complete her program until the Spring 2015 semester. the SEVIS Compliance Office approves the request on December 3, 2013. The extension will be granted through December 16, 2014 (last day of finals of the Fall 2014 semester), since this will be one year from the date the extension is approved. If the student needs additional time after December 16, 2014, she must apply for another extension before then.

Financial Documentation Requirements

In addition to the I-20/DS-2019 Extension Request Form, students must provide financial documentation proving sufficient funding for full-time study for the recommended period of extension. 

Please find the KSU Affidavit of Support Here


  • A student who needs an additional semester must submit financial documentation for one semester of full-time study.
  • A student who needs an additional semester but only one course remaining must submit financial documentation for one semester of full-time study.
  • A student who needs another year must submit financial documentation for one year of full-time study.

Total funding required must be immediately available and shown in the documentation. Financial documents must be issued directly by the funding source and must be original documents. (Photocopies, faxes, scanned documents, computer/Web printouts are not acceptable.)

Multiple Extension Requests

Pending student eligibility and the SEVIS Compliance Office approval, second and subsequent extension requests will be granted in one-semester increments only.

Effect of Early Completion of Degree/Program on an Approved Extension

If a student completes his degree program prior to the new, extended I-20 end date, the student’s F-1 status and I-20 will be shortened to reflect the earlier date of program completion. For example, if a student is granted an extension through the Fall 2014 semester but completes his degree in Spring 2014, the student’s I-20 end date will be shortened to the end of the Spring 2014 semester.