Extension of Program

If you are unable to finish your degree program by the end date noted on your I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1), you can request an extension of your program. The length of time allowed for an extension is based on the recommendation of your academic adviser.

Deadline for Extensions

An extension of your I-20 or DS-2019 must be completed before the end date of the document. If your I-20 or DS-2019 expires while you are still a student, you will be considered in violation of your status.

Application Instructions

  1. Complete the Extension of Program form and print it out.
  2. Have your academic adviser sign the Extension of Program form.
  3. Attach proof of funding as instructed on the form (the requirements are different for F-1 and J-1 students).
  4. Summer Extensions must attach proof of summer enrollment from CalCentral. If you will not be full-time in Summer, also attach a Reduced Course Load Request for Final Term
  5. Turn in the Extension of Program form to Berkeley International Office (in person or via email to internationaloffice@berkeley.edu). If your request for an extension is approved, a new I-20 or DS 2019 will be ready for you in three business days. If important information is missing, or if there is any problem with your request, you will be contacted via email.

Change of Academic Level

  • Undergraduate to Graduate
    If you need an extension because you are changing academic levels from an undergraduate to a graduate program, you must use the Nonimmigrant Information Form (NIF) to request a new I-20 or DS-2019. You should not use the Extension of Program form. You must submit the NIF before the end of the 60 day grace period following the end of your I-20 OR your degree completion.
  • Master's to Ph.D.
    • If you have a new admission into the Ph.D. program, you must use the Nonimmigrant Information Form (NIF) to request a new I-20 or DS-2019. It should appear in your CalCentral after you accept your admission. You should not use the Extension of Program form.
    • If you will not obtain a new admission, but your degree objective is changing to Ph.D., Berkeley International Office will contact you with Change of Level instructions once your new PhD level information is updated in Cal Central. However, if your department will NOT be changing your PhD level in Cal Central before your current I-20/DS-2019 expires contact SEVISCoordinator@berkeley.edu. Your Ph.D. I-20 will only be issued after your change to doctoral program is officially listed in Cal Central.  You should not use the Extension of Program form. You must complete a Change of Level process before the end of the 60 day grace period following the end of your I-20 OR your degree completion.

BIO understands that many staff members, including academic advisors and medical care providers, are working remotely and may not be able to sign forms by hand.  To accommodate this situation, we will accept the following types of signatures:

  1. Docusign signature
  2. Adobe digital signature  (example on page 3).
  3. Hand-drawn signature (not typed) using mouse or touch screen (example)
  4. Email confirmation of approval.  For this method, follow the steps below.
    • Email the RCL form to the appropriate person (an academic advisor for an academic or final term RCL; a medical care provider for a medical RCL).  
    • The recommender should complete the bottom portion of the form but can type their name instead of signing in the signature field. They should email the form back to you with the line "I approve [student name and student ID] for reduced course load" in the body of the email. 
    • Forward the recommender's email and the RCL form to BIO for review.