SEVP’s “Study in the States” website has a new post explaining when program start dates may be deferred:

Question: When should I defer the program start date on a student’s Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status”?

Answer: You may only defer a student’s program start date to the start date of a later term if the student meets at least two conditions:
Has not yet entered the United States
Will not be able to arrive and enroll for the term beginning on the current program start date

Please note, if a student will arrive at your school after the program start date but still within your school’s time limit to register for that session, you do not need to defer the program start date.

If you have questions about deferring an F or M student’s program start date, you can call the SEVP Response Center at (703) 603-3400 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(i)

For more information visit the “Study in the States” website at:

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