If you are unable to complete your degree requirements by the completion date specified on your I-20, you must apply for a program extension at least 30 days before but no later than the completion date indicated on the I-20. You may lose your F-1 status and all F-1 benefits if:
F-1 regulations strictly limit when and under what circumstances the Office of International Students and Scholars may grant a program extension. An extension may be granted only if you have continually maintained full-time student status and if the delay in completing your degree is the result of "compelling academic or documented medical reasons."
Examples of compelling academic reasons for requiring more time are:
The following are not considered acceptable reasons for a program extension:
In order to request a program extension, you will need to submit the following to the Office of International Students and Scholars through the TC-Compass system:
Applications for extension of program must be submitted in its entirety at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your current I-20. Upon receiving the above documents, the OISS will review your eligibility for a program extension.
NOTE: Your application is not complete until your academic advisor submits this information. It is your responsibility to ensure your program extension request is submitted in its entirety in a timely manner.
If your request is approved, an extension for a maximum of one year will be granted. The OISS will update your F-1 records and provide you with a new I-20 with an updated expiration date.
If the OISS determines that you are not eligible for a program extension under F-1 provisions, or if you do not apply for a program extension before the expiration date on your I-20, you automatically lose your F-1 status and must apply for Reinstatement of Status.