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Updating Immigration Documents

Updating I-20/DS-2019

Ensuring the validity of all information on your I-20/DS-2019 is an important part of maintaining your status. If any changes occur to the information on your forms, you may need to update your I-20/DS-2019. 

Change of Name/Country Information
If you have recently changed your name or citizenship you may need to update your I-20/DS-2019.  However, it is best that all of your Immigration documents match as closely as possible.  If you have not yet updated your passport/visa, you should wait until you are ready to change those documents.  In the meantime you can carry a legal document showing the change with your current documents.

Change of Program Dates
If the dates of your study do not match your degree progress then you will need to have your I-20/DS-2019 updated.  If you will complete your program early you should speak with an ISSS advisor and submit an Exit Plan e-form in iTerp.  If you need additional time to complete your studies you should speak with an ISSS advisor about requesting an extension BEFORE your current document expires.  You do not need to submit the Update Request Form for a change of program dates.

Change of Degree Level
If you plan on changing to a higher degree, you must be officially admitted into that program first.

Some Ph.D. students may decide to terminate studies at the Master's level. If you are thinking about doing this, the first thing you should do is discuss this with your academic advisor. If it is agreed that this is the right decision for you, then your department must first contact the Graduate School. The Graduate School will then update your records to indicate that you are a Master-level student and no longer a doctoral-level student. Only after the Graduate School acknowledges this change can IES change the program level on your I-20/DS-2019.

Change of Major/Program of Study
If you plan on changing your major/program of study, you must be officially admitted into that program first.

Change of CIP Code
In April 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an interim final rule creating a new OPT Extension for STEM degrees.  This required institutions of higher education to develop and implement a process for degree code (CIP code) changes on campus.  At this time, UMD decided that the CIP code a student graduated with would remain their degree code.  Changes to the code would not take place after graduation.  The CIP code is one of the eligibility requirements for a STEM Extension application at DHS.

CIP code changes are initiated at the department level and are requested for the entire program, not an individual student.

Below is UMD process for updating a CIP Code:

  1. Academic degree program (ADP) decides to amend its CIP code
  2. The ADP submits its request via email to the Office of Academic Planning and Programs in the Provost's office for review
  3. The Provost office submits the request  to the Maryland Higher Education Commission, MHEC, for review and approval.
  4. MHEC's decision is returned to campus and the Provost office sends it to campus partners including the Registrar's Office
  5. The Registrar's office will act on the change for the next academic semester.  The change is recorded in university data and becomes official for the next academic semester. 
  6. University data drives the changes required to an international student's I-20 form.  All impacted I-20 forms are updated with the new code once the next academic semester begins.

A student who graduated before the change in data was made would not show that they completed a degree with the new CIP code.  Only those students who are enrolling in coursework and still part of the program would reflect the newly assigned CIP code.

Change of Funding: F-1
A change of funding on your I-20 is typically not necessary.  However, if you are applying for a visa, then you should update the funding if you are awarded or lose a graduate assistantship.  Please see acceptable sources of funding here.  If you have other reasons for updating the funding information on your I-20, then it is suggested that you come in to speak with an ISSS advisor.

Change of Funding: J-1
A change of funding on your DS-2019 is necessary every time your source of funding changes. 

How to update your I-20/DS-2019:

Please schedule an appointment to discuss the type of update and procedure with an ISSS advisor. 

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