Here's an exercise! Look at your I-20 or DS-2019...what is your program end date? This date is how long you are currently authorized to study at UCSB (until graduation) using your current visa status. Find out how to extend your stay by requesting a Program Extension.
What Is A Program Extension?
As an international student, you are permitted to continue studying at UCSB until you graduate, or until your I-20 or DS-2019 expires - whichever option comes first.
When OISS issues your I-20 or DS-2019, it has a program start date and program end date. Your program start date is typically your first day of classes at UCSB. The program end date is either 4 years or 7 years later, depending on your degree level. This is the date that your document expires.
The most important thing to remember here is: don't let your I-20 or DS-2019 expire if you are still studying at UCSB!
It's always a good idea to review your immigration documents periodically, and to make sure they are not reaching expiration. That includes your visa, your passport, and your I-20 or DS-2019.
If your I-20 or DS-2019 is about to expire, and you need more time to study at UCSB, then that's okay. It happens all the time! This is where the Program Extension Request comes in.
Never let your I-20 or DS-2019 expire if you are still studying at UCSB!
Valid reasons for requesting a Program Extension:
- No unusual delay: needs more time to complete program of study
- Delay caused by a change in major or field of study
- Delay caused by a change in research topic
- Delay caused by unexpected research problems
- Delay caused by unavailable courses this quarter
Your academic advisor will be asked to recommend that OISS extends your program, and they will indicate one or more of the above reasons. They can also let OISS know if there are any unusual circumstances. The academic advisor recommendation is done through the Program Extension request process. Read the next section to find out how to submit your request!
How Do I Request A Program Extension?
The Program Extension is required for all international students who plan to extend their program of study at UCSB. Students must submit completed extension form with proof of financial support to OISS at least one week before program end date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019.
Important Note: Per federal guidelines, OISS cannot extend your program after your current program end date has already passed. If this happens, you'll need to exit the U.S. and re-enter using a new I-20 or DS-2019, or elect to transfer out to another school to resume your studies. Make sure this does not happen; OISS recommends submitting your Program Extension request 30 days before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires.
Here's how to make the request:
- Meet with your academic advisor (College advisor for undergraduate students, Faculty advisor for graduate students) to determine your new expected graduation date. This will be your new program end date.
- Log onto UCSBGlobal platform and locate the Program Extension request. (Look for the request labeled I-20 or DS-2019 Extension Request.)
- Enter the required information, including your advisor contact information.
- Your advisor will receive an automatic email notification, asking them to verify your request.
- Once your request is approved, you'll receive an approval notification from OISS, along with instructions on obtaining your updated I-20 or DS-2019.