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Extending Your I-20

Extension of Your I-20

Students must complete their studies by the program end date listed on the I-20 (item #5, p.1). If additional time is needed to complete the program, an extension must be requested prior to the program end date. Extensions are granted only under limited circumstances and must be requested in a timely fashion. Once the program end date passes, extensions are not possible.


In order to qualify for an extension, you must show that you have continually maintained status and that the extension is needed for compelling academic or medical reasons. You may be eligible for an extension if the following criteria are met: 

  • The delay is caused by documented academic or medical circumstances
  • You have sufficient financial resources to fund your studies and living expenses
  • The extension is requested in a timely manner (at least 15 days before the expiration date)

The following are not valid reasons for extensions:

  • To enroll in extra courses for personal/academic interest or to improve one’s GPA
  • To finish pending coursework for an incomplete grade
  • To repeat a course for a better grade
  • To engage in non-required Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • To enroll in course work delayed by participation in CPT (Co-op students should consult with ISSS about their work/study calendar before the start of the first co-op semester.)


  1. Students requesting an extension must have the financial resources to support the additional time requested. A final determination will be made by ISSS.
  2. Submit the ISSS Request form and financial documentation at least 15 days before your program end date. 
  3. ISSS will review your request and if eligible update your I-20 to reflect the extension.
  4. You will be notified by e-mail when this process is complete and your I-20 is ready to be issued.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am student sponsored by my government. Do I need to submit a new letter of financial guarantee to extend my I-20?
Yes but only if UD does not have a current financial guarantee on file for you.

I did not submit my request in the recommended time frame. Will my extension be denied?
Program end dates often align with the end of terms, which is a busy time for ISSS and other offices. To avoid delays, we recommend submitting your paperwork documentation at least 15 days before the program end date. 


International Student and Scholar Services

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