For students who will require additional time beyond the current expected program completion date listed on their Certificate of Eligibility Document (Form I-20 for F-1 visa holders, or Form DS-2019 for J-1 visa holders), it is possible to request a Program Extension of their Certificate of Eligibility if the reason for the additional time is due to a valid academic or medical reason.
The new Certificate of Eligibility Document (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019), to Extend the program completion date, must be issued before the current Form I-20/Form DS-2019 completion date. The ISO recommends that students request the Program Extension at least 15 days prior to current program completion date.
In order to request the Program Extension of Form I-20/Form DS-2019, students must complete the following:
- In iMIT, request a new Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 (under “F-1 Student Services” or “J-1 Student Services”, then select “Extension of Form I-20″ or “Extension of Form DS-2019” and complete the eform and required documentation).
- A letter from your academic department administrator or academic advisor indicating a) your current degree program, b) that you are a student in good academic standing, c) the reason for extension, and d) your new date of completion. The letter must be issued on department letterhead and signed.
- Proof of financial support for the extended period of stay.
For students with funding from MIT, current MIT financial documentation must be confirmed either on the above department letter or a separate funding letter on department letterhead and signed. Documentation for assistantships/fellowships must include duration of funding (e.g. 9 months, 12 months, and etc.) If MIT funding will not meet full tuition/fees/health insurance and living expenses for the Extension period, additional funding documentation (personal bank statement, letter of support and financial statement from a sponsor) must be provided. A combination of funding sources is acceptable. Guidance concerning financial documentation requirements is available on the ISO website.
If any questions arise, please be sure to contact your ISO Advisor.
Please note that after submission of your Form I-20/Form DS-2019 Request with all supporting documentation, it will take the ISO approximately 10 business days to process the new visa document. You are strongly advised to submit the Program Extension request at least 15 days prior to the expiration date of your current Form I-20/Form DS-2019.
Failure to extend your visa document may result in you falling out of legal visa status.
Important note: A Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 Extension does not automatically extend the entry visa in your passport (issued by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad). If a student will be traveling outside the U.S., and the visa in the passport has expired before the planned date of re-entry to the U.S., students will need to plan to apply for a new entry visa at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate while abroad.