The Overview

The Program Extension Request Form is to be used by F-1/J-1 students at Penn who are unable to complete their course of study by the program end date on form I-20/DS-2019. 

This section guides your through the Eligibility, Application & Financial Documentation needed for the program extension.

  • Submit your request to ISSS at least 30 days before the expiration date of the I-20/DS-2019
  • If you fail to apply prior to the expiration date you will be considered out of status. Please meet with an ISSS advisor for reinstatement options.
  • The extension will extend your I-20/DS-2019, but not your visa
    • You may remain in the US with an expired visa but valid I-20/DS-2019
    • If you travel out of the US you will need a new US Entry visa to reenter

Eligibility

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

  • Have continually maintained legal F-1/J-1 status 
  • Seek an extension for a delay caused by a compelling academic or medical need, such as: change of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, or documented illness
  • For changes in funding source, provide financial documentation for the educational and living expenses during the extension.
  • NOTE:  Delays caused by academic probation are NOT acceptable reasons for program extension.

How to Apply

  • To apply for an extension of your F-1/J-1 status, please read this page and then log into iPenn (link below) to complete the Student I-20/DS-2019 Extension Request form.
  • Upon verifying your eligibility, ISSS will issue an I-20/DS-2019 with a new completion date.  
  • Processing time: 3-5 business days, but during the peak / high-volume period, this may take longer
  • Any F-2/J-2 dependents will also be issued updated forms

Financial Documentation

If there is a change in your funding source, you must provide proof that you are able to continue meeting the expenses of studying at Penn. This includes: living and education costs, plus living expenses for dependent family members, if any.

Please bring documentation of one, or a combination of the following, showing funding for the duration of your extension:
  • A statement showing proof of renewed sponsorship or financial aid. Funding amounts must be clearly stated.

  • Recent financial certificate (e.g., a bank statement), issued within the past 12 months.

  • An updated Penn scholarship/fellowship letter. Funding amounts must be clearly stated