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Extensions

F-1 Students

When to Extend

If you will not graduate by the completion date noted in your I-20, you must apply for an I-20 extension as soon as possible and no later than two weeks prior to its expiration date. If you do not extend your I-20 in a timely manner, you will violate your visa status and forfeit future employment benefits.

Allow two weeks for the processing of your request.

Note: If you are currently studying for your MS degree, you may not extend your I-20 so that you may take the qualification exams for the PhD degree.

Acceptable reasons can include the following:

  • Unexpected difficulties in research.
  • Lack of access to necessary equipment to conduct research.
  • Additional time needed to complete thesis.
  • Additional time needed to complete program requirements.
  • Documented medical reason.

Apply through Axess for an extension.

See detailed instructions (PDF). 

J-1 Students

When to Extend

If you will not graduate by the completion date noted on your DS-2019, you must apply for an DS-2019 extension as soon as possible and no later than two weeks prior to its expiration date. Note that if you have a J-2 spouse with work authorization, you should apply sooner for extension.

Allow two weeks for the processing of your request.

If you have completed your program of study and want to participate in Academic Training beyond the completion date on your DS-2019, please see information for Academic Training for J-1 students.

Procedure

If you are sponsored by a non-Stanford agency, please contact them regarding the extension process.

Apply through Axess for an extension. 

See detailed instructions (PDF).

Important Points for F-1 and J-1 Students

  • Please do not discard previous I-20s/DS-2019s.
  • If you are currently receiving Stanford based funding, please remember to provide a copy of your new document to Stanford payroll. This will prevent delays in receiving your research/teaching assistantship or fellowship.
  • Since the I-20/DS-2019 expiration date typically reflects the end date of the visa stamp in your passport, you will have to renew your visa outside the U.S. if you plan to re-enter the U.S. after the expiration date of your visa stamp.
  • You may remain in the U.S. with a valid I-20/DS-2019 and expired visa in your passport.
  • Government regulations do not limit the time you may take to finish your program of study as long as you are making academic progress, but you may be subject to limitations imposed by the Registrar's Office on the time allowed to complete your degree.