Updates or Changes to Immigration Documents
International students are required to keep all immigration documents up-to-date and current. If a student has a change of name, address, major, program end date on I-20 or DS-2019, new educational level, financial information, number of dependents, or needs a new immigration document, then they must complete the appropriate form and/or meet with an international student advisor.
International students must update OIED within 10 days of changing their address. When a student updates their address through their WolfWeb account that changes it in the WOU Banner systems but not the SEVIS immigration system.
Students must get approval to change their major and have it updated on their immigration record before changing it with WOU. For students who are self supported (paying their own way) they only need to submit the Change of Major forms to the OIED office. However, for students supported by a scholarship (such as SACM) will need to get approval in writing from the scholarship provider before any changes are made to the students immigration or WOU record. Also, students attending WOU as part of an agreement (such as 2+2 or 3+1) must first get approval from their agreement institution before any changes are made to the students immigration or WOU record.
Students who wish to add a major/minor or change their minor do not need to do any paperwork with OIED because it does not affect their immigration record.
Program End Date
A student who is making progress towards their degree but needs more time to complete their program may request an extension of their I-20 Program End Date. The student must have their academic advisor or department chair approval (signature) and form turned in BEFORE the current program end date.
Extensions cannot be done after the current program end date has passed. Most extensions are done at the beginning of the term when the student’s I-20 will end.
Students attending WOU at one level (ex: undergraduate) may apply and be accepted to a program at a different level (ex: graduate). If the student is admitted to the new program before the end of the 60 day grace period in their current program they do not need a new I-20. The student will be issued an initial I-20 (with the same SEVIS number as the old I-20) for the new program. Once the new program I-20 is registered and made active, the old program I-20 with automatically complete if it hadn’t already.
If the I-20 is lost, damaged, financial information changes, name changes, etc. a student can request that a new one be printed. Students do not need to request a reprint for travel, changing major, changing levels, or extensions because a new I-20 is automatically reprinted as part of those processes.
Contact an international student advisor for more information about making any of the updates above to your record, or with any other general questions/concerns you may have.
Reinstatement of Immigration Status
When a student fails to maintain their immigration status, his/her SEVIS record will be terminated. If a student with a terminated record wants to continue studying at WOU, they must apply for reinstatement with USCIS using the I-539 form. Go to www.uscis.gov to find the most up-to-date version of the I-539 form. Also, students must meet with an international student advisor and understand the information in the following PDF.
Reinstatement is only available to students who fell out of status due to circumstances beyond their control. If the situation could have been avoided the student should not apply for reinstatement. Instead they should get a new initial I-20 exit the US and re-enter. Meet with an international student advisor about your situation as soon as possible.
Change of Status
Individuals who do not have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency must obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa in order to maintain lawful non-immigrant student status. Individuals with B-1/2 (tourist) or F-2 (dependent) visas, for example, will violate their status if they enroll in a full time program of study in the U.S. An individual must obtain F-1 visa status before enrolling in a full time program of study. If you need to change visa status download the I-539 form at www.uscis.gov and meet with an international student advisor.
Adding Dependents (F-2 visa holders)
F-1 students in good standing with immigration may request to add a spouse or child (children) to their immigration record as F-2 dependent(s). To do this the student must provide the passport of each dependent and proof of finances to cover their dependent(s): spouse ($3900) and each child ($2000). Also, be prepared to provide evidence that this person is your spouse or child and meet with an international student advisor.
J-1 students typically are not granted J-2 visa for dependents. J-1 visiting scholars at WOU for more than 6 months may be able to bring dependents. J-1 students and scholars should contact Ermie Buncal if they wish to add a dependent to their record.