Important Notice: This information does not apply to students and scholars whose visa documents are not issued by Duke (e.g., ECFMG, IIE, LASPAU, AMIDEAST, etc.)
A Duke Sponsored F-1 or J-1 student who is unable to complete his/her studies by the completion date on his/her Form I-20 or DS2019, must file for an extension within the 30-day period before the completion date.
Eligibility for Extension
A student is eligible to apply for an extension if s/he meets the following criteria:
The student has continually maintained F-1 or J-1 status.
The need for an extension is caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as change of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, or documented illness. Academic probation or suspension is not an acceptable reason.
The student applies for extension within the 30-day period before his/her Form I-20 or Form DS2019 expires.
F-1 and J-1 students who do not meet all of the above criteria must either leave the U.S. or apply for reinstatement, a cumbersome and somewhat costly process.
Steps taken by the Student
The student is required to provide written evidence from the academic advisor that the extension is warranted, and specifying why the extension is necessary, what the anticipated completion date of the student’s program of study will be, as well as what tuition/fees will be charged.
If the extension is requested due to illness, the student must provide evidence of the medical condition (e.g., letter from doctor).
The student must submit the documentation referenced above, as well as the current I-20 or DS2019, passport, I-94 card, and the completed Request for F-1/J-1 Student Extension form to the Duke Visa Services Office. Proof of funding also must be presented to cover tuition/fees/living expenses to be paid during the extension period.
Steps taken by the Duke Visa Services Advisor
The Duke Visa Services Advisor completes the extension request in SEVIS and issues a new I-20 or DS2019 showing the amended end date, amended financial information, and any remarks that may be required.
The Advisor will contact the student to pick up the updated I-20 or DS2019 and if required, update the student’s I-9 for continued employment.