Program Extension of I-20 or DS-2019

About I-20/DS-2019 Extensions

The program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019 should always reflect when you are going to finish registration. If you require additional classes to finish your academic program or doctoral dissertation, you may be able to apply for extension of your I-20 or DS-2019.

To be eligible for an extension, must:

  • Be in valid F-1/J-1 status
  • Have additional time remaining on your I-20 or DS-2019 (end date has not passed)
  • Need additional time for required coursework/classes
  • Need additional time to complete doctoral dissertation (PhD only)
  • Be able to maintain full-time enrollment (300 units) for the duration of your extension

Extensions of your I-20/DS-2019 must be based on academic necessity only and cannot be based non-academic factors, such as more favorable job prospects or timing for benefit applications (such as driver's license applications).  Extensions must be approved in advance by your program and OIA.  You must maintain full-time registration for the duration of your program extension.


Extensions and Thesis Writing

Bachelor's and Master's students: If your course registration is complete, but you need additional time to finish your thesis/capstone/final project, you will not be eligible for an extension of your F-1 status. This is because you require full-time enrollment in courses to maintain F-1/J-1 status (300 units/quarter).  If you are only working on your thesis, you must finish it during the grace period or on OPT or AT (if eligible).

Doctoral Students: Generally, doctoral students who are finished with coursework and working on their thesis in advanced residence will still be considered as full-time enrolled with the registrar (300 units for a research/writing course). Pro forma registration is considered a full-time status; Extended residence is not considered full-time.  As long as you will continue to be registered in Pro Forma status, you will be eligible to apply for an extension, if needed.

Extension Deadlines & Timing

The deadline to extend your I-20/DS-2019 form is the program end date currently stated on the document.  It is NOT possible to extend your I-20/DS-2019 form after the end date.  Requests for program extensions will be accepted up to six months prior to I-20/DS-2019 document expiration.  If you have a situation where you need your document extended prior to the six month policy, please contact our office.

If you neglect to extend your record before your current I-20/DS-2019 end date, you will be "out of status", which will have a negative immigration impact.

Extension Length and I-20/DS-2019 End Dates

Your academic department will work with you to determine the additional time that is required.  Your Dean of Students or designated department contact (below) will indicate the new ending quarter on your extension application.  Your I-20/DS-2019 end date will always align with an official quarter end date and cannot end mid-quarter.

J-1 Students: Extension and Home Residency Requirement

Students in J-1 status who have applied for and been approved a waiver of the 212(e) home country physical presence requirement are not eligible to apply for an extension of their DS-2019 (including Academic Training).


Extension Application

In order to request an extension of your I-20/DS-2019, you must:

Materials Required:

1Academic and Financial Review Form

Page 1 of this form must be completed by the person in your department or office listed below to verify on the form your expected date of program completion and estimated expenses, as well as confirm any funding you are receiving from the University.

  • Biological Sciences Division: Dean of Students Office
  • Booth School of Business:
    • MBA: Academic Services
    • PhD: Malaina Brown
  • College: Dean of Students in the College:
  • Divinity School: Dean of Students Office
  • Graham School: Dean of Students Office
  • Harris School of Public Policy:
    • Master's level programs: Your Academic Advisor
    • PhD: Cynthia Cook-Conley
  • Humanities: Joyce Kuechler
  • Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering: David Taylor
  • Law School: Dean of Students Office
  • Physical Sciences Division:
    • Astronomy: Laticia Rebeles
    • Analytics: Jarquetta Egeston
    • Biophysical Sciences (PhD): Michele Wittels
    • Chemistry: Melinda Moore
    • Computer Science (Masters): Karin Czaplewski
    • Computer Science (PhD): Megan Woodward
    • Financial Math: Meredith Muir
    • Geophysical Sciences: Fahad Sajid
    • Mathematics (PhD): Laurie Wail
    • Physical Sciences MS: Laura Rigazzi
    • Physics: Putri Kusumo
    • Statistics: Keisha Prowoznik
    • Computational & Applied Mathematics (PhD & MS): Zellencia Harris
  • Pritzker School of Medicine: Dean of Student's Office
  • Social Sciences Division: Brett Baker
  • Crown Family School: Dean of Student's Office 

Page 2 of this form must be completed by you.

2. Financial support documentation

Although we can extend your I-20/DS-2019 form for more than 1 year (if authorized by your department), you are only required to show funding for one year (or less, if the extension is for less than one year).  If  the estimated expenses are greater than the funding from the University, you will have to provide proof of funding for the balance from personal sources.  See our website for a list of acceptable financial documentation.

*NOTE: Generally speaking, students in Financial Mathematics, Computer Science Professional Program, MAPH, MAPSS or the LL.M. programs are NOT eligible for program extensions.  Feel free to contact our office with questions about your specific situation. 


Extensions and On-Campus Work

If you have an on campus job, note that your authorization for on campus employment will end on your I-20 end date. To continue working after your I-20 end date, you will require OPT or AT work authorization.  If you are working on campus, you may need to update your tax documents with your employer.  Contact your department’s HR person for more information.