Extending Your Stay (F-1 Students)

This page will provide F-1 students with a basic understanding of:

  1. The limitations placed by U. S. immigration regulations on the length of time a student may be enrolled in a program of study; and
  2. The procedures a student must follow if additional time to complete program requirements is required.

Duration of Status (D/S)

When you enter the U.S., you will be admitted for a "duration of status", which is:

  • The time during which you are pursuing a full course of study and making normal progress toward completing that program
  • The time you may be working in authorized practical training after you complete your studies (if you qualify and have been authorized)
  • The 60-day grace period after your program end date to depart the country

F-1 students are granted "duration of status" upon arrival at a U.S. port-of-entry. This is designated with a stamp in your passport.

The program end date on your Form I-20 is the date by which you are expected to complete the requirements for your current program. If you are unable to do so by that date, you will need to submit a program extension request at least 60 days prior to your program end date.

Failure to Comply with Program Extension Regulations

It is your responsibility to comply with all F-1 immigration regulations, including an extension request. Lateness in submitting an extension request will make you ineligible to continue (or to apply for) benefits provided to F-1 students. Employment (even on-campus employment through a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship), applying for transfer to another school, practical training, or other F-1 benefits will be jeopardized.

Eligibility Requirements for Program Extension

You may apply for an extension if:

  • You expect to exceed the time limitation indicated in the program end date on your Form I-20, and
  • You have continuously maintained lawful F-1 status, and
  • The delay in completing program requirements has been caused by compelling academic reasons, or compelling and documented medical reasons. Delays in completing program requirements which are caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for extension of an academic program.

Extension Request Process

Complete and submit OISS's online Program Extension Request eForm at least 60 days prior to the program end date on your Form I-20.

  • Login to eOISS
    • Under the heading F-1 Student Services, choose "Program Extension Request".
  • Before submitting your eForm, please meet with your Academic Advisor.
    • After you submit your eForm, your advisor will be sent an email notification to approve your request.

After your eForm has been approved by your Academic Advisor, an OISS Advisor will contact you regarding the financial documentation you will need to provide.

After financial documentation has been provided, an OISS Advisor will issue you a new Form I-20 with a revised program end date.

Change in Degree Level Request Process

If you have been accepted into a new degree program at UNH, please complete and submit OISS's online Change in Degree Level Request eForm at least one month before your current academic program ends.

  • Login to eOISS
    • Under the heading F-1 Student Services, choose "Change in Degree Level Request.

After your eForm has been submitted, an OISS Advisor will issue you a new Form I-20 with your new degree level.