Timely completion of a degree or program is one of the concerns addressed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations. The stated length of study and expected completion date on the initial I-20 used to begin your current degree program at Purchase College determines whether you must apply for a “Program Extension” to remain in the U.S. to complete your program. Refer to item 5 on your I-20 which reads “…and complete studies not later than (date)______.” This date is what the DHS will have recorded as your expected completion date.

If you will not be able to complete your current program by the expected completion date, you must file a Program Extension notice with the Office of International Programs & Services (OIPS). If you do not file, or file late, you automatically lose your student status and will need to apply for Reinstatement.

1. You must be in lawful F-1 Status
2. You must have maintained unbroken full-time status for every semester of your current program during which you have been in F-1 status.
3. Delays in completing your studies must not have been caused by academic probation or suspension.
Deadline: Within the 30 day period before the completion date of your initial I-20, you must submit your application to the Director of OIPS.
Procedure: The completed application includes the following:
1. I-20
2. Passport
3. Financial documentation showing that you can meet the costs of additional time needed to complete your program.
4. A signed Academic Advisor’s recommendation form stating the academic reasons for your need to extend your stay in the U.S., the expected date of completion of your program of study, and verifying your full-time status.

The OIPS Director will:
1. Review your application for eligibility.
2. Prepare a new I-20 for Extension of Stay

You will need to sign and date the completed I-20. Please make an appointment to see the Director of OIPS.

How to satisfy DHS regulations for Program Extension by Traveling Abroad
If you plan to travel outside the United States within 30 days before the completion date on your original I-20 and re-enter after that date, you may fulfill the requirements of Program Extension by going through the DHS inspection at the border or airport. You must have a new I-20 with specific notation for Program Extension which includes the new expected completion date. The DHS inspector must take page 1 of the I-20 so that the DHS is notified of your new expected completion date.

What if I have not been a full-time student?
If you have not been a full-time student or have otherwise violated your F-1 status, you will be instructed to prepare a reinstatement application for the DHS. Reinstatement is necessary when a student violates F-1 regulations.

What if I file for an extension after my I-20 has expired?
Then it is likely you will have to apply for reinstatement.