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 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. Submission of program extension request does not guarantee approval. All requests must be reviewed by the ISO to determine eligibility. A final decision will be communicated by email.


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

  • Have continually maintained legal F-1 status
  • Seek an extension for an academic or medical reason, i.e.: 
    • Change of program. View eligibility requirements here
    • Recent documented illness requiring a Medical Reduced Courseload (RCL). View eligibility requirements here
  • Apply for an eligible extension before the program end date listed on the I-20
  • If you are unsure of your eligibility for a program extension, please contact the ISO. 


The following reasons are not eligible for program extensions:

  • Losing credits due to failing course(s) OR repeating 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
  • If you are not eligible for a program extension, you may work with the office of Records and Registration to determine your eligibility to complete your program virtually from outside of the U.S.

How to Apply

When you are ready to submit your request, please login to the Terra Dotta System and navigate to the Request Center to find the Program Extension request

We recommend that students access Terra Dotta through a desktop/laptop device, as mobile compatibility is limited.