Program Extension

Updated 10/15/2021

F-1/J-1 students are given a specific period of time to complete the academic program requirements. Please refer to the program end date that is printed on page one of the I-20 or DS-2019.

Students who are unable to meet the academic program requirements by the program end date must apply for a Program Extension before their I-20 program end date. If the expiration date on the I-20/DS-2019 has passed, students must meet with an OIS advisor immediately, as the student is considered to be out of status.


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Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a program extension, F-1/J-1 students must meet the following requirements:

  • The expiration date of the I-20/DS-2019 has not yet passed
  • Continuously maintained the F-1/J-1 student status
  • Must have sufficient funds to cover the additional time needed to complete program requirements, which includes tuition and living expenses of $1000 per month
  • The delay in completion of the program must be due to one of the following reasons:
    1. Medical reasons (must have required medical documentation signed by MD, DO, or licensed clinical psychologist)
    2. Change of major
    3. Change in a research topic
    4. Unexpected research problems
    5. Other compelling academic reasons–academic advisor must specify in detail

If none of these reasons apply, please contact the Office of International Services to consult with an advisor.

NOTE: Program extensions may affect future CPT eligibility. Please consult with an advisor at OIS.

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F-1 Student Program Extension I-20 Request Process

Click here for Program Extension I-20 Request Form

STEP 1: All Students (Except Viterbi Graduate Students or PDP Students)

In the Program Extension I-20 Request Form, enter your name as it appears on your passport, your @usc.edu email, and your Academic Advisor’s name and email.

OR

STEP 1: Viterbi Graduate Students

In the Program Extension I-20 Request Form, enter your name as it appears on your passport, your @usc.edu email and “VASE” as your Advisor’s name, and MASTERS@vase.usc.edu or PHD@vase.usc.edu as your Advisor’s email.

OR

STEP 1: Progressive Degree (PDP) Students

In the Program Extension I-20 Request Form, enter your name as it appears on your passport, your @usc.edu email and your graduate degree Academic Advisor’s name and email. If you are pursuing a graduate degree in Viterbi, enter “VASE” as the advisor’s name and MASTERS@vase.usc.edu for the advisor’s email.

STEP 2: Complete Form & Attach Required Documents
Proof of Funding

Required

Bank statement, certified bank letter, scholarship letter, or funding letter from academic department (for PhD students) with:

  • Name of student and/or account holder or sponsor clearly printed in English
  • Date of issuance within the past three months
  • Currency in U.S. dollars (USD) or include conversion to USD
  • Final available balance of individual liquid accounts or solvency amount
  • Sufficient funding to cover the remaining cost of tuition and living expenses
    • Living expenses = $1,000 USD per month
    • Dependents, if applicable = $7,200 USD for spouse; $3,600 USD per child
  • Certified, professional translations for all financial documents not issued in English
  • Letters on official letterhead with signature/stamp of an administrative official
Medical Documentation

As Needed

If you need a program extension due to medical reasons, attach a letter of support from an MD, DO, or licensed clinical psychologist. The letter must be dated, on official letterhead, and include a wet signature. If you previously submitted medical documentation to OIS when filing a reduced course load (RLC) or leave of absence (LOA), no additional documentation is required.
Double Majors

As Needed

If you are an undergraduate student extending to complete a double-major you must have this form signed by one Academic Advisor and attach an email or letter of support from your second Academic Advisor specifying the number of units remaining in your major and expected graduation date.
Academic Department Letter of Support

As Needed

An academic department letter of support is required after the second program extension. Attach a signed letter of support from your faculty advisor on official letterhead verifying you are making sufficient academic progress and will complete degree requirements by the expected graduation date.
STEP 3: Processing

After completing the form and attaching proof of financial support, click “Finish”. Your Academic (or VASE) Advisor, and then OIS, will automatically receive your completed form. Once OIS receives the form, the processing time is 7 business days. Your return I-20 will be signed electronically and sent to you via email.

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J-1 Student Program Extension DS-2019 Request Process

Please allow at least 7 business days to review and process the program extension request.

  1. Complete Program Extension Form
  2. Receive approval and signature from the department advisor. (Viterbi graduate students must receive approval from their Viterbi Admission & Student Engagement (VASE) advisor).
  3. Obtain proof of funding: Funding letter or bank statement in U.S. dollars and dated within the past three months – must cover the cost of tuition and $1000 per month for living expenses for the duration of the program extension
  4. Submit the signed Program Extension form along with the proof of funding to OIS via email (J1EXCHG@usc.edu) at least one month before the expiration date of the DS-2019. In the email subject line write: J-1 Program Extension Request: Last Name, First Name — SEVIS ID #
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