Change of Program/Appointment Information

When the ISSO issued your immigration document, we did so based on very specific information provided by you and your school, department, or program. Therefore, if anything changes, the ISSO needs to be notified in advance so that we can advise you appropriately and update your documents when required.


Please bring proof of the requested change (as indicated below) to the ISSO along with your current immigration document and passport.

Once your request is submitted, it will take approximately five business days for the ISSO to issue your updated document. Please note: If your immigration document was issued by the Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP), you must contact them regarding changes to your I-20.

J-1 Students: Note that your original DS-2019 states a specific field code for which you were admitted to study. Significant changes to the program objective for which a J-1 student was initially admitted to the US (i.e., from engineering to political science) might not be permitted by US Department of State regulations.

Dependents: If you have dependents in the US in F-2 or J-2 status, they must each receive their own updated dependent document.

Change in Source of Funding

Award letter, or original sponsor support letter and bank statement. Documents must be in English, with amounts in US dollars.

Change of Major

The ISSO must verify changes of major before a new immigration document can be issued.

Change of Education Level

“Education level” refers to the level of an academic program of study (i.e., bachelor’s, master’s, language training, doctoral, etc.). Your education level is indicated on your current document (item 4 on I-20 or section 4 of DS-2019). If there will be a change in your education level (i.e., from master’s to PhD), the ISSO will need to confirm this change and issue you a new immigration document.

Change of Program

If you have been admitted to a new academic program at BU (i.e., changing from master’s in computer science to master’s in business administration), you must be issued a new immigration document by the appropriate office as follows:

Program Office
Undergraduate degree or non-degree studies BU Admissions
Graduate degree, certificate programs, or graduate non-degree studies; or for BU Academy ISSO. Proof of admission must be submitted by the admitting BU school/college before the ISSO will evaluate a student’s eligibility for a new I-20.


Sponsorship classifications for scholars allow you to continue to conduct your research or teach at BU until you complete your activities, or until the end date indicated on your current immigration document. If anything changes in your BU appointment/affiliation, the ISSO should be notified in advance of the change so that we can evaluate whether the change is permitted under your current status.

Changes may require the ISSO to either issue a new immigration document or make a request to USCIS to amend the information in a previously approved petition.

Change in Source of Funding

Provide the ISSO with either an updated BU appointment letter or original financial documentation/bank statements to verify the funding change. Documents must be in English, with amounts in US dollars.

Changes in funding may affect your eligibility for immigration sponsorship.  Therefore, any change in your funding amount or source (BU or outside funding) should be discussed in advance of the change.

Change of BU Affiliation (Department, Title, Full-Time Equivalency, Work Location, etc.)

Any change to your BU affiliation should be discussed with the ISSO in advance. Since your immigration status is based on the maintenance of your specific document or petition, BU may be required to amend the document, apply for a new immigration classification and, for employees in H-1B status, file an amended petition with USCIS.