Change in Level of Study
When an international student in F-1 or J-1 status progresses from one program of study to another (Bachelor’s to graduate program, Master’s to PhD, Master’s along the way to PhD, or PhD to Master’s) it constitutes a substantial change that must be approved in SEVIS and reflected in a new Form I-20 (or DS-2019 for Js). While both undergraduate and graduate students can effect a change by following the established University procedures (either through an admissions process or graduate policy), there are significant consequences for those F-1 or J-1 students who do not also immediately request the change in SEVIS.
OIS needs three items in order to process a change in level request in SEVIS:
a) confirmation of admission/approval for the new level;
b) a new estimated program end date certified by the Director of Graduate Programs on the OIS Change in Level form; and
c) new financial documentation (please see the Financial Certification form on the OIS website for current funding amounts).
If you plan to change your level from bachelor’s to a graduate program at NC State, it is necessary to apply to the Graduate School and be offered admission to a particular program. After being offered a spot in the graduate program you will be asked to complete and submit both the Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) and a Visa Clearance Form (VCF) to OIS. The OIS advisor will update your SEVIS record and issue a new Form I-20 (or DS-2019).
If you request a change in level you will need to follow the Graduate School policies and obtain approval from your DGP. The Graduate School will notify you of the approval. It is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents to OIS before - or in any case no later than 10 calendar days after - the approved change. In order to issue a new Form I-20 or DS-2019 to complete the notification process for the change, you must submit a completed Change in Level form to OIS. (This form must be completed by you and signed by your DGP!). You may either submit this in person or via e-mail (email@example.com) to OIS with the financial certification and/or award letter attached. A new visa certificate reflecting the new level of study will be issued within 5 business days of the receipt of properly completed documents or the effective date of the change – whichever is later.