Program extensions are strictly regulated by DHS/ICE/SEVP and may only be granted to F-1 students at HU who are unable to complete their course of study by the program end date on their I-20 due to compelling academic or medical reasons.  F-1 students are expected to finish their programs on time.  Making normal academic progress is a condition of maintaining F-1 status.


In order to be eligible for a program extension a student must:

  • Have continually maintained legal F-1 status
  • Seek an extension for a delay caused by a compelling academic or medical reason, such as: change of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, or documented illness
  • Apply for an eligible extension before the program end date listed on the I-20


The following reasons are not eligible for program extensions:

  • Losing credits due to failing course(s)
  • Failing a course in the final semester
  • Earning an FD in the final semester
  • Delays caused by academic probation and suspension 
  • Delays caused by not successfully completing pre-requisites before the last semester (e.g., Graduate students not taking GRAD 695 until the last semester does not allow for an extension to take GRAD or Program 699)
  • Taking any courses outside of the required courses
  • Applying for an extension after the program end date noted on the Form I-20 

IMPORTANT: To avoid Termination of your SEVIS record on your Program End Date due to failure to complete your program, we strongly recommend you seek advising about course overloads to make up for lost credits caused by failed courses. Be aware of your needed yearly credit totals, semester by semester, and stay on track to graduate on time. Additionally please work closely with your professors to successfully complete your courses in your last semester. For more information on overloads, see Course Overloads article

Important Notes

  • If you fail to apply for an eligible extension prior to the program end date on your Form I-20, you will be considered out of status
  • An eligible program extension will extend your program in SEVIS (and on your I-20), but will not extend your F-1 visa
  • You may remain in the U.S. with an expired visa as long as your I-20 is valid
  • If you travel out of the U.S. with an expired visa, you will need a new visa to re-enter the country

How to Apply

Submit a Program Extension request via your student portal in Terra Dotta: HERE

  • Click Request
  • Read all instructions
  • Complete the Program Extension Questionnaire and click the "Complete Questionnaire" button to submit your answers.
  • Click the "Submit my Request for Processing" button. If you do not click this button, your request will not be added to the queue for processing.