Extensions of Stay
Extending Your I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa)
If you do not complete your educational program within the time period indicated on your I-20 or DS-2019 form, you are required to file a program extension with the OISS PRIOR to the expiration of your immigration form. You must demonstrate that you are currently a full-time student in good standing and have a legitimate academic reason for the delay such as a change in major or research topic or unexpected research problems.
IMPORTANT! You MUST request your I-20 or DS-2019 extension with the Office of International Students and Scholars PRIOR to the expiration date on your I-20 or DS-2019 form or you will lose your immigration status!
In order to extend your I-20 or DS-2019 form you will need to submit the following:
1. An email or letter from your department chair, faculty advisor, or Dean of your school which states that you are a full time student in good standing, your new expected graduate date and the valid academic reason(s) for your delay. If your department is providing funding they should include this in the email/letter.
What is my completion date?
- The date of completion will be your graduation date (unless you are finishing in the summer session in which case it is the end date of your summer session).
- Dissertation/thesis students: Your completion date will be your defense date including any revisions. If you defend in the middle of the semester and have a assistantship in your department, your completion date will be the end of the semester.
2. Proof of finances for the amount of time you will be extending. Living expenses are set at approximately $2000 per month. Cost per credit for the credits you have remaining should be found on your student account or ask the OISS.
Documents can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the OISS (see contact details below). It will take 1-2 weeks for your form to be extended and you will receive an email from the OISS when it is ready.
What if my visa in my passport has expired?
Your visa in your passport is an ENTRY permit. You are allowed to stay in the U.S. if it your visa has expired however the next time you leave the U.S. (with the exception of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean) you will need to go to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate Abroad to apply for a new visa. For more information visit: www.bc.edu/oiss.
Grace Period after Completion of Studies
As an F-1 student you are allowed 60 days to remain in the United States after your completion of studies date. J-1 students and scholars are allowed 30 days. During this time you are no longer allowed to work, study or re-enter the US. Note that the 30 or 60 day period is from the day that you complete your studies, NOT necessarily the expiration of your I-20 or DS 2019 form if you have finished earlier than your form indicates. If you have applied for F-1 Optional Practical Training you can remain in the U.S. while your OPT is pending or until the start date of your OPT.