I-20 Extension

When is an I-20 Extension Needed?

Refer to Section 5 on the I-20 to determine the date by which your studies are to be completed. An F-1 student who will not complete their educational program by the completion date noted in Section 5 on their most current, valid I-20 must apply for a Program Extension.

When to Apply

You need to apply for and be approved for the extension before your current I-20 expires. If you do not get it extended prior to your current I-20 expiration, and you have not completed the degree, you will be considered out of status.​


Any F-1 student who has continually maintained status, is making normal progress and who has a compelling academic, medical or other reason for not completing the educational program by the completion date (#5) on the I-20 is eligible for a Program Extension. A "compelling reason" may include such things as a change of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, or a documented illness, which has interfered with full-time study. A generic reason such as “did not finish” or “needs more time” is an insufficient reason.

Academic suspension and probation are not considered acceptable reasons for a Program Extension. If the reason for an extension is health related, it may be difficult to get approval unless the student has previously been approved for a reduced course load (for medical reasons).

How to apply

Log into iHawk and complete the "I-20 Extension" e-forms under "F-1 Student Services" - part one and part two of the e-forms must be submitted and pending review. Once both eforms are in pending status please schedule an appointment with an ISS advisor to review and process your extension request.

Part 1: Academic Advisor

Academic Advisor's name and email address –meet with your academic advisor regarding the I-20 extension request you are about to submit.  The advisor you indicate on the e-form will receive an email and will need to verify the reason for and length of extension requested.

Part 2: Funding Documentation

If your source of funding has not changed (see Section 8 of your I-20), you will not be required to show proof of funding, but you will still need to submit the Funding Info e-form indicating so.

If your financial source has changed (ex. previously a GRA and now supported by family funds):

  • KU Funding: If you have a GA/GRA/GTA, Lecturer position, fellowship or departmental scholarship, you must provide the name and email address of the departmental staff person who can verify the salary and benefit information.
  • Other Funding: Upload current evidence of financial support for at least one year of attendance (or until the anticipated completion of degree, whichever is shorter). For the minimum amount, refer to your specific major/program’s estimated cost of attendance.

When will ISS process the I-20 extension?

Monitor the status of your request in iHawk and when both e-forms are showing "Pending Review" status, meet with an ISS advisor during DROP-IN advising, to review and process your extension request. Please refer to our Advising webpage for more information on advising hours.

Important if you work on-campus

Take a copy of your newly extended I-20 to the Payroll Office in Room 145 Carruth O'Leary Hall for proof that you are eligible to continue working.