You will find on this page answers to the most common questions about the Extension of Stay process.
If you have other questions you can email Karen Keefe-Guzikowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. How do I apply for an extension of stay? Do I need an appointment?
A. Most students do not need an appointment. You can stop by the ISSS to pick up the application for extension of stay. You and your academic advisor need to fill out the Academic Advisor’s Recommendation Form for Extension of Stay and you need to submit financial documentation.
Q. I am out of the area. How do I find the forms for extension?
A. You can find information about the extension of stay process and the Advisor’s Recommendation Form for Extension of Stay on our website. To learn about the process, and immigration regulations governing extension of stay, go to http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/ and select the “Immigration” link on our web page, and scroll down to a document titled, “Program Extension Regulations For Students In F-1 Status”. You will also find the Advisor’s Recommendation Form for Extension of Stay and the Student’s Checklist for Extension of Stay at this same link.
Q. What kind of documentation do I need to submit to show my financial support?
A.This documentation may be:
- A current personal bank statement (personal or joint account)
- A current bank statement, stock certificate or employment letter from your sponsor or family member (see next bullet)
- If the bank statement, stock certificate or employment letter is issued on behalf of someone other than yourself, you need to submit a current, notarized letter from that person stating, the sponsor’s relationship to you, and that the sponsor will provide for your support while you are a student at Binghamton. If your sponsor is faxing financials to us they must indicate that the financials are sent as part of your extension application
- A funding letter covering the extension period from your academic department
- A stock certificate
- If you will be on authorized practical training during the time period of the extension, your employment offer letter, including a statement of your salary
Your full name or the full name(s) of your sponsor(s), and the bank name, account number and current balance must be clearly shown on the dated statement for the documentation to be acceptable.
Depending on the length of time for the extension of stay, you may need to present more than one kind of financial document to show sufficient funds.
Q. My sponsor is in another country. Can they fax the information?
A. Yes, they can. We also need to have originals mailed to us. The fax and the originals should be sent to the attention of: Karen Keefe-Guzikowski. Your name should also be given on the fax cover sheet. We receive hundreds of financials for different students. A sponsor and student may not have the same family name.
Q. The funding I am presenting is not in U.S. dollars. Is this okay?
A. Yes. We can easily do the conversion of any foreign currency into U.S. dollars.
Q. How do I find out the amount of financial support that I will need to show?
A. When you submit the Advisor’s Recommendation Form for Extension of Stay, Karen will send you an e-mail telling you the amount of financial support you need to show.
Q. I had a new I-20 prepared six months ago. Can I use that financial documentation for extension?
A. We will need to review the financial documentation. First we need to have the advisor’s form so we know the new end date for your program of study. The financial documentation you submitted six months ago will need to be sufficient to cover the financial amount necessary for the past 6 months and the new period of time.
Q. I am not sure if I should extend my I-20 or not, as I might be able to graduate but I might need another semester. What should I do?
A. The first thing you need to do is to meet with your academic advisor. Your advisor will be able to give you an appraisal of your degree progress. If it is not a certainty that you will complete in time, you will want to apply for an extension.
Q. What if I receive an extension but I am able to graduate before the new completion
date, do I have to continue to register until the new completion date?
A. No, the new completion date simply allows you to continue as a student if you need to, it does not force you to continue if you are able to complete your program of study early.
Q. I think I will only need part of a semester to finish my degree. Can I extend for
a month or two?
A. The ISSS processes extensions to the ending date of the semester. It is our experience that student’s do need the full semester. It is a burden on the student to extend for a short period of time and then have to file for a new extension.
Q. My I-20 ends soon and I have completed all of my degree requirements. I want
to do an internship. Can I extend my program of study?
A. No, extension of stay is only allowed for valid academic or medical reasons, not for employment. If you have completed all your degree requirements, it is time for you to graduate. You can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), an employment authorization you can use after you graduate.
Q. I am thinking of traveling soon and will need a new visa to return. What should I do?
Be sure to e-mail Karen and let her know your travel dates.
Q. How is my application for extension processed?
A. The processing is done in two steps. Once a complete application (advisor’s form and financial documentation) is submitted, it is reviewed. If staff has a question they will contact you and/or your academic advisor. Your academic record is also reviewed to make sure you have been enrolled full-time. Once your application is approved, your SEVIS record is updated with the new completion date. You will receive a new SEVIS I-20 that has a notation showing that you have been granted an extension of stay and the new completion date. You will want to keep this I-20 and all past I-20s you have been issued.
Q. What is the deadline for applying for an extension?
If your current I-20 has a December end date, the deadline is November 30
If your current I-20 has a May end date, the deadline is April 15.
If your current I-20 has an August end date, the deadline is July 15.