News Calendar About Statistics FAQs Contact Links
 International Students & Scholars Office
 Students Scholars Administrators
Prospective Students
Current Students
  General Information
  F-1 Students
    Maintaining Status
    Rights and Responsibilities
    Social Security Card
    Visa Renewal
  J-1 Students
  Address Change

Changes to Information on Your I-20

Whenever information on your I-20 changes, the ISSO must issue you an updated I-20 form to reflect the new information and notify the USCIS. The following instructions are for academic students only

If your I-20 was issued by the Center for English and Orientation Programs (CELOP), you must contact that school regarding changes to your I-20.

Changes to Your Name, Citizenship, Major, or Source of Financial Sponsorship

NOTE: If you have been admitted to a new degree program, you cannot receive a new I-20 as outlined in this section.  Please refer to the instructions in the section that follows below entitled "Change of Education Level or Program at Boston University"

Requesting to Change Your I-20
Please bring the following with you to the ISSO:

  • Your current I-20, passport and I-94 card
  • Evidence of the changed information (only if applicable):

    • Change of legal name: (USCIS must be notified within 10 days) Passport, or any other such document, which proves a legal change to your name.

    • Change of citizenship: Passport.

    • Change in source of funding: Award letter, or sponsor support letter and bank statement.  Documents must be in English with amounts in U.S. dollars.

    • Change of major: The ISSO must be able to verify changes of major in the University computer before a new I-20 can be issued.

Once your request is submitted, it will take approximately 5 business days to issue your new I-20.

Change of Education Level or Program at Boston University

This section is for current Boston University students who are in F-1 status and are changing from one education level to another (e.g. Master's to Ph.D.), or from one program to another (e.g. Master's in Computer Science to Master's in Business).  It will describe the steps you need to take to comply with regulations of the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (USCIS).

Definition of Education Level
"Education level" refers to the level of an academic program of study.  You can find your educational level in item 4 on your USCIS Form I-20.  As a Boston University student, your program of study is at one of the following levels:

  • Secondary (Boston University Academy)
  • Language training (CELOP - Center for English Language and Orientation Programs)
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Doctoral
  • Post-Doctoral
  • Other (certificate, non-degree, or dual degree programs, etc.

New I-20 for Change of Education Level or Program
If you have been admitted to a new academic program at Boston University, you must be issued a new I-20 by one of the following offices in order to change your Educational Level or Program:

Undergraduate Degree or Non-Degree studies BU Admissions
Graduate Degree, Certificate Programs, or Graduate Non-Degree studies; or for BU Academy International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). Proof of admission must be submitted by the admitting Boston University school or college before the ISSO will evaluate a student's eligibility for a new I-20.

When you receive your new I-20, please read all the information on it carefully.  If any information is incorrect, contact the office that issued the I-20.  If all information is correct, complete Item #11 on page one.

If you have dependents (spouse and/or children under the age of 21) who are in the U.S. in F-2 status, they must each receive their own updated dependent I-20.  If they are not in the U.S., but plan to obtain F-2 visas and enter the country to join you, they must each receive an updated dependent I-20 to apply for their visas and enter the U.S. (See section on F-2 dependents for more information.)

Two Ways to Process a Change of Educational Level or Program
A notification of change of educational level or program can be processed in two ways (click on an option for detailed procedures): 

  1. By remaining in the U.S. and requesting that the ISSO notify the USCIS of the change within 15 days of starting the new program.


  2. By leaving the U.S. and reentering with the new Boston University I-20 before beginning the new program.

The way you choose to process the change of level is your decision.  Either way is acceptable as long as you follow proper procedures.


Boston University
March 9, 2012

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office