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Student Program Extension


Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations require students in F-1 status to complete their program by the expected completion date noted in item 5 on the initial form I-20 ("...and complete studies not later than (date)___."). The stated length of study and expected completion date on the initial I-20 used to begin your current program of study at UTB determines whether you must apply for a "program extension" to remain in the USA to complete your program.

If you will not be able to complete your current program by the expected completion date because of valid academic or medical reasons, you must apply for a program extension with the international student advisor at International Student and Scholar services in the Office of Global Engagement, which is the international student advisor who will be responsible for notifying the DHS of this change.

THE PROGRAM EXTENSION MUST BE REQUESTED BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THE EXPECTED COMPLETION DATE. As an F-1 student if you are ineligible for a Program Extension because of missing the deadline or not meeting the eligibility requirements listed below, you are considered out of status.

You may apply to the U.S. CIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for reinstatement, if eligible.

Eligibility

  • You must be in lawful F-1 status under the visa supervision of UTB.
  • You must have maintained unbroken full-time status for every semester of your current program during which you have been in F-1 status.
  • You must not have been delayed in completing your studies by academic probation or suspension.

Deadline: You must submit your application to the OGE International Student and Scholar Services BEFORE the completion date on your I-20. There is no prescribed period in which to do so, except that an extension of an I-20 must take place before the current one expires.

Procedure

1. Provide the following documents to the international student advisor at OGE International Student and Scholar Services:

a. Your I-20 and I-94 card
b. Your passport
c. Financial documentation showing that you can meet the costs of the additional time needed to complete your program
d. Documentation establishing valid reasons to continue beyond your I-20 time limit (This documentation will be a letter to the international student advisor from either your academic advisor stating the academic reasons for your need to extend your stay at UTB and the expected date of completion of your program of study or your school or department reflecting approval of your request for a reduced course load or medical leave of absence based on a physician's certification. Examples of compelling academic reasons contributing to a delay in completion include changes of major or research topic or unexpected research problems.)

2. Wait while your international student advisor:

a. Reviews your application for eligibility
b. Prepares a new I-20 extending your completion date
c. Updates your SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record

3. Sign and date the new, extended I-20.
 

Contact Information:
International Students
Lightner Center Room 104
80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, Texas 78520
Phone: 956.882.7983

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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