U.S. Law Center

3 reasons to update your Form I-20 as an F-1 student

As an international student with an F-1 visa, you might feel concerned about the current political climate regarding immigration. You want to do everything right to ensure you do not lose your immigration status. How can you maintain your immigration status? What happens if you need to change your major, transfer schools or update your address?

You do not need to navigate these questions alone. Keep reading for more information on updating your Form I-20 and remaining a student in America.

1. Changing your major

Moving to another country for school is a huge decision. You want to make sure your program of study is perfect for you. If you want to change majors, you can do so. As a holder of an F-1 visa, you must maintain an accurate SEVIS Form I-20. The major on your I-20 has implications for future employment authorization. If you change majors, make sure you complete a new Form I-20.

2. Transferring schools

Sometimes changing your major is not enough and you actually want to transfer to another school. If you find you want to change your location, you must contact the designated school official at your current school and potential school, determine a transfer date and fill out a new Form I-20 to update your SEVIS record. Remember that any school you wish to attend must hold a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certification.

3. Changing your address

Federal regulations require you to update the address on your Form I-20 within 10 days of having your new address. You may move to another dorm on-campus or an off-campus home or apartment. Whatever the case is, make sure you report your local address update within the designated time after moving to adhere to federal regulations.

If you follow these tips on maintaining your immigration student status, you will be in better shape. Talk to an immigration attorney if you have any questions.

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