Extending Immigration Documents

If you are unable to complete your program of study by the program end date listed on the front of your most recent I-20 or DS-2019 form you must apply to extend this document to remain in lawful student immigration status.


  1. You may apply for an extension of your I-20/DS-2019 if:

    1. The expected program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019 has not passed,

    2. You have continuously maintained lawful F-1 or J-1 student status, and

    3. The delay was caused by compelling medical or academic reasons (e.g. change of major or research topic, or unexpected research problems).

Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not permitted reasons.

  1. Apply for an extension no later than 30-days prior to the expiration date on your I-20/DS-2019. The international advisor must have ample time to verify, approve and process your request.

  2. If you do not meet the requirements for an extension listed above, you may need to apply for "reinstatement" to lawful F-1 or J-1 status. In this case, immediate consultation with the international advisor is necessary.



STEP 1: Read this entire handout thoroughly and carefully! Submit ALL documents BELOW for approval.

STEP 2: Complete the extension form on page 2 of this handout: You will need to complete the student section (Section A) and your advisor will complete and sign the Advisor section (Section B).  You will upload this form in the myGEO portal.

STEP 3: Proof of Financial Support: Get proof of financial support to cover the remaining time you will need to complete your program or one year whichever is longer. You will upload this financial proof in the myGEO portal.

Funding amounts for grads are here: https://geo.unm.edu/admission/graduate/tuition_fees.html

Funding amounts for undergrads are here: https://geo.unm.edu/admission/undergraduate/tuition_fees.html

If you need fewer than full-time hours to complete the program, you only need to show tuition for the credits you need to complete. You also need to show approximately $1,300 per month for living expenses. For example, a PhD student who has completed all requirements except the dissertation would need to show only $700 per semester in tuition (cost of 6 dissertation hours) plus living expenses for each month of the extension. If you have dependents, you will need to show additional living expenses for them ($6,000 spouse, $4,000 child).

For financial proof you may use personal funds such as a bank statement or your current assistantship contract (you can use this ONLY if your advisor indicates that your assistantship will continue on page 2 of this form). If you have funds from another source, we will need a letter of support from that source, as well as supporting financial documents, such as bank letters or salary statements showing that the funds are available. Come in to advisor walk-in hours or email iadvisor@unm.edu if you are unsure about minimum financial requirements.

STEP 4: Fill out the GEO Request form here: https://geo.unm.edu/students/forms/geo_request.html, then log in to your myGEO portal and upload the signed extension form and financial proof in section “2f. Continuing Student Update”.

STEP 5: Pick up your new I-20 or DS-2019 (bring it to your employer if you are working):   GEO will notify you by email when the new I-20/DS-2019 is ready.  Sign and bring a copy to your employer(s), if any.  For assistantships, go to Graduate Studies (Humanities Bldg, Room 107).  For UNM Student Employment go to the Student Employment Office.

REMEMBER! Keep all I-20s/DS-2019s given to you during your studies.
You may need them if you apply for any future immigration benefits!


It is your responsibility to follow all immigration regulations that apply to F-1/J-1 Students.  If you allow your I-20/DS-2019 to expire, you will not be eligible to continue (or apply for) benefits provided to students.  For example, you will not be eligible for any type of employment (even on-campus employment through an assistantship) or to apply for practical/academic training benefits if you do not file for an extension before your document expires.