F-1 Change of Degree Level
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. Your OPT will end on the day your SEVIS record is registered at the new level. This will be around the program start date of the new level. Check with an International Student Advisor to determine the exact date.
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
If your admission to the new program has been completed then you can complete the Change of Level process in myIO. If your admission has not been finalized you will need to schedule an international student advising appointment to complete the process. You will need the following documents:
- Proof that you will graduate in the current semester
- Proof of admission specifically stating the semester/year you will begin the new program.
- 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.
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.
Required Documents for Correction of Level I-20
If your admission to the new program has been completed then you can complete the Correction of Level process in myIO. If your admission has not been finalized you will need to schedule an international student advising appointment to complete the process. You will need the following documents:
- Letter from your academic department explaining:
- Your initial admission to the University of Texas at Austin
- 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)