Change of Level
An F-1 student is admitted to the United States to complete a specific educational program. However, if one of these scenarios applies to you, you need to obtain a new Change of Level I-20 to maintain your F-1 visa status:
- You are completing a degree or program requirements at one educational level(ex: Bachelor’s), and pursuing another degree or program at a different level(ex: Master’s). Enrollment in your new program must begin at the next available session start date within 5 months. You must obtain your new I-20 for the new degree program within 60 days of your current program completion date or within 15 days of beginning the program, whichever is sooner.
- You are ending OPT and entering a new degree program. You must obtain your new I-20 within the 60-day grace period following your OPT end date, and within 15 days of your new program start date. Once your new I-20 is issued, your OPT employment authorization will end.
- You are completing degree requirements and beginning a new degree program at the same educational level (ex: a second Master’s degree). You must obtain your new I-20 for your second program within 60 days of your current program completion date or within 15 days of beginning the program, whichever is sooner.
Required Documents for Change of Level I-20
To get your new Change of Level I-20, please make an appointment with an International Student Advisor and bring the following documents:
- Proof of financial support. You should be able to verify the amount necessary for at least 12 months with a personal bank statement, Research Assistant/Teaching Assistantship verification letter (should include salary and tuition payment details), or sponsor’s letter and sponsor’s bank statement.
- Proof that you will graduate in the current semester
- Proof of admission specifically stating the semester/year you will begin the new program.
- Form I-94
Correction of Level
If you are currently an F-1 student and your degree level has changed (ex: you were issued an I-20 at the Master’s level but you have now switched to the PhD level), you will need to have a new Correction of Level I-20 issued to reflect this change in degree program. Please make an appointment with an international Student Advisor and bring the following documents:
- Letter from your academic department explaining:
- Your initial admission to the University of Texas at Austin o Changes to your degree program (ex: was admitted to Master’s degree but now has decided to pursue a PhD Degree)
- New expected graduation date
- Proof of financial support (this is only necessary if you are extending your program)
- Form I-94