I-20 Extension

F-1 International students who are not able to finish their degree program by the completion date on the I-20 can request an I-20 extension. The length of time allowed for extension is based on the recommendation of students' academic adviser.  The extension can be approved up to one year.


Students may apply for an extension of program if:

  • Students have been making normal academic progress
  • Student have continuously maintained full-time study and F-1 status
  • The delay in completing program requirements has been caused by compelling academic reasons or compelling and documented medical reasons

Delays in completing program requirements caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for extension of a program.

We recommend students submit their request to the Division of International Education at least six weeks before the program end date on the I-20.

To request an I-20 extension, email the following documents to f1@sfsu.edu from the students' SF State email account. Include their full name and SF State student ID in their email. 

An F-1 international student advisor will review their request and issue an updated I-20 within 5 business days. Students must clear all the registration holds to receive I-20s.

  • A signed I-20 Extension Form (PDF, 153KB): Must be signed by students and their major academic advisor (undergraduate) or graduator coordinator (Graduate) to verify the reason for an I-20 extension.
  • A signed Baccalaureate Degree Completion Plan form (Undergraduate only) to verify the units required:
    • Students must:

      • Complete the form first by themselves
      • After completing the form, bring it to their major advisors for signature
  • A signed Financial Affidavit Form (PDF, 296 KB))
  • Proof of Finances
    • Students and/or their sponsor(s) must prove that they have the financial ability to pay for school costs plus living expenses for one academic year.  See the Financial Affidavit for the minimum amount of funds they are required to have. 
    • Photocopies are acceptable.
    • Acceptable types of proof: balance verification issued by the bank or Financial Guarantee/award letters issued by the scholarship organization.
    • The proof must be issued within the past 6 months.
    • If students have sponsor(s), their sponsor(s) must provide a Sponsor’s Letter.
    • See the template (Microsoft Word, 12KB) signed by their sponsor(s) along with the financial proof.
  • Additional Support (For students who have filed I-20 extension previously): If students have been granted an I-20 extension previously, in addition to the documentation above, they must provide an additional letter from their major academic advisor or graduate coordinator printed on the department's original letterhead explaining:
    • Verify the reason(s) for a delay in their completion of program requirements.
    • Certify that they have been making normal academic progress
    • Provide a new date when they are expected to complete their studies.

Last updated: January 2024

For PDF files, Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or above is required to view it. Adobe Acrobat Reader it's available free from Adobe (link is external).

The information contained in this website is provided as a service to the international students, faculty, staff, employees, and administrators of San Francisco State University, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website or any associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither San Francisco State University nor the Division of International Education is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.