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.
  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 apply for the 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 five 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.
  • Off-campus Employment Between Levels- If you intend to have an off-campus work opportunity after the completion of one level before you begin the next you'll likely need to apply for F-1 Post-completion OPT or J-1 Academic training. For F-1s, full-time CPT is not available during the gap between levels. (Example: You graduate with a Bachelor's in Spring 2022. You are admitted to a Masters for Fall 2023. If you wish to work off-campus over Summer 2022, you need OPT, and can work related to your Bachelor's degree! )

How to get PDF BIO request forms electronically signed by an academic advisor

BIO understands that many academic advisors are working remotely and may not be able to sign paper/PDF 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 BIO form to the appropriate academic advisor.  
    • The advisor 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 ..." in the body of the email. 
    • Forward the academic advisor's email and the BIO form to us for review.  BIO's email address is internationaloffice@berkeley.edu.