I-20s are issued for a maximum of three years, but if you need more time to complete your degree, you can apply for an extension. Since North Lake degrees can be completed in less than three years, extensions are granted only in special circumstances. Valid reasons might include change of major, change of degree plan, major sickness or injury. Failing classes or being suspended are not valid reasons.
An extension of your I-20 requires International Center approval, but does not require an application to the U.S. government.
How to extend an I-20
At least four weeks before your I-20 expiration date, submit the following to the International Center:
- completed extension request form
- updated proof of financial support documents from you or your sponsor (submit the forms relevant to your situation)
- other supporting documents to support your case. For example, if a sickness delayed your studies, bring a doctor’s note on official letterhead explaining the illness or accident.
Incomplete extension requests will not be processed.
If your application is approved, the F1 adviser will issue your extended I-20, with a new expiration date. The new date is an estimate of when you should be able to graduate successfully.
Only one extension is allowed unless there are documented reasons such as another serious illness. We cannot guarantee additional extensions.
Alternatives to an extended I-20
If your request is denied, apply to another school in the United States and seek an immediate transfer. The other school must be SEVIS-approved and must admit you. The transfer must be done as soon as possible after the semester concludes at NLC. It is possible in certain situations to transfer but concurrently enroll at NLC
U.S. immigration law requires you to leave the United States immediately after your I-20 expiration date if you did not graduate, if you are denied an extension, or if you fail to transfer to another college. There is no grace period.
Some students can complete their NLC degree requirements online, from their home countries. This depends on which classes they need to take. Contact us for details.