I-20 Extension

Studying after your I-20 expiration date

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires students to finish their program of study by the program end date indicated on their I-20 (3rd section – Program of Study). An F-1 student who is currently maintaining status and making normal progress toward completing their educational objective, but who is unable to complete their degree plan by the program end date on the Form I-20, must apply for a I-20 extension prior to the program end date. ACC students must apply for an I-20 extension before the current program end date indicated on their I-20.  If the student fails to meet the deadline, there is no guarantee the request will be processed before the current I-20 expires. ACC students must extend their I-20 before travelling, or they will not be able to return to the U.S.

You can become eligible for a program extension if you meet all these requirements:

Eligibility Requirements

  • To be eligible for an extension, an international student must have continually maintained their F-1 status.
  • The student must be making normal progress toward completion of their degree.
  • The student has academic requirements remaining.
  • The delay was caused by documented academic or medical reasons, i.e., student was granted a Reduced Course Load.
  • Students can only obtain ONE Associate of Arts andd Associate of Science, with a maximum of TWO extensions allowed per degree, if all eligibility requirements have been met.

Invalid Reasons for a Program Extension

  • Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extensions.
  • Delays caused by undocumented academic/medical circumstances.
  • Applying for an extension after the program end date noted on the Form I-20.

Request an extension

Submit the following documents to the International Student Office with a deadline of one month before the program end date listed on your I-20.

I-20 extension requests may be submitted to the International Student Office (ISO) to international@austincc.edu. However, the ISO may request them to be submitted in person. Documents must be clean, clear, and legible. Requests are reviewed by the ISO and the student is notified via email upon completion. Allow five (5) business days for processing.
ACC I-20 extension request guidelines were created from the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(7)(i) and 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(7)(iii) pertaining to the extension of stay for non-immigrant students in colleges and universities.

Other options for students whose I-20s are expiring:

  1. Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), if graduating this semester. Visit the International Student Office to discuss eligibility and application procedures.
  2. Transfer to University.  You must submit the required Transfer Out documentation to transfer your SEVIS record (I-20) to your new institution. See required documentation here. Make sure to discuss travel plans with both schools before leaving the U.S.
  3. Leave the U.S. and Return Home. You will need to exit the U.S. within 60 days of the completion date on your I-20. If you are going to be exiting the U.S., you must notify the International Student Office with proof of your departure.