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Requesting a New I-20 to Return to Boston University

Please contact your ISSO advisor two to three months before the semester you wish to return to Boston University in order to request a new I-20 to return from a leave of absence, a suspension, or a physical absence from the U.S. of more than 5 months while continuously enrolled with the University.

Before the I-20 can be issued, you must follow these steps:

  1. Verify with your ISSO advisor that you are eligible to return to your academic program.  This information should appear automatically in the University computer if you have been on an official leave of absence or continuously enrolled while physically absent from the U.S. for more than 5 months.
  2. If you have been on suspension, you must contact your Boston University school or college and submit a petition to return to the University.  Once approved, have your department send a copy of the approval letter to your ISSO advisor.

  3. Prepare new financial documents to show you have sufficient funds to cover the current expenses for tuition, fees and cost-of-living for one academic year (9 months).
  4. If the funding is your own, you need only submit a bank letter or statement verifying funds.  If you are sponsored (e.g. by your parents), your sponsor will need to provide their bank documentation, plus a letter of financial support that verifies they will provide funding for your tuition/fees and living expenses while you are at Boston University. For your convenience, Boston University has prepared a Sponsorship Certification Form for this purpose. 

    All financial documents must be written in English and show the amounts converted into U.S. dollars.  Click here to review the Estimate of Expenses to determine the amount of funds you must have available.

  5. Mail your financial documentation to the attention of your ISSO advisor.  Include a cover sheet indicating the address where you would like the new I-20 to be sent.  If you want your I-20 sent by FedEx or other courier (highly recommended), you will need to provide a phone number and a credit card number with expiration date.  The phone number is important in case there is a problem with delivery.

NOTE:  You must return to the U.S. on or before the new start date in section 5 of your I-20, otherwise the document will become invalid for reentry.

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL: Please refer to the section "Immigration Requirements for Entry to the US (F-1 Students)."  Unless you are Canadian, you must possess a valid F-1 visa and your passport should be valid at least 6 months from the date you intend to reenter the U.S.

Upon your reentry to the U.S., a CBP official must stamp page one of your new I-20 and return it to you.  You must report to the ISSO immediately to have your new I-20 and I-94 card copied in order to update your record before you will be considered eligible for any F-1 benefits.

Processing your new I-20 if you are currently in the U.S.
Your ISSO advisor will counsel you further on the following:



Boston University
February 28, 2005

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office