If you are not able to complete your program by the end date on your I-20 you will have to request a program extension from the I.S. Counselor and provide compelling academic reasons for needing it. The request to extend the program MUST be done prior to the end date on the I-20- extensions cannot be processed the day the program expires.
An F-1 student is eligible for program extension if:
He or she has continually maintained status
The delay in completion is "caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as difficulties with English in the first semester, changes in major or documented illness.
The regulations also state that "delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension"
A student who fails to complete his or her program within the time prescribed in item #5 of his or her I-20 and cannot meet the eligibility criteria for program extension is considered out of status and must apply for reinstatement to student status.