Extending, changing or completing your program

Extending your program

Your I-20/DS-2019 is only valid until you either finish your degree program or your document expires. If your I-20/DS-2019 is nearing the expiration date and you need more time to finish your degree program, you may request additional time by submitting a request for a new I-20/Ds2019 to extend your program in myStatus. You will need to enter your academic adviser’s email address so they can complete a recommendation. You will also need to upload or submit financial documentation to verify that you can afford to live in the U.S. for the additional time you are requesting.

If you have an I-20/DS-2019 issued by the University of Missouri, refer to the instructions above.

If your I-20/DS-2019 was issued by a source other than MU, you must contact the sponsor for more information about the extension. Your sponsor may ask that your academic adviser or international student adviser sign the necessary forms and verify your financial information. Please consult with the Sponsored Student Program staff when completing these forms.

Changing your program

As an international student, you were admitted to the U.S. to work toward a specific educational or professional objective. If you change your objective, you must comply with the standard procedures to remain in status. If any of the following things change, you will need a new I-20/DS-2019:

If changing your program means you will need more time to complete the program, you must follow the requirements for program extension above.

  1. Follow MU departmental requirements for changing your field of study.
  2. Meet with the departmental adviser of the new major to fill out any necessary forms and go over your new graduation plan.
  3. Send the documents to the dean of the appropriate school/college for approval.
  4. If you are a sponsored student, review your sponsor’s guidelines for changing to a different major.
  5. Have your academic adviser send the appropriate documentation to the evaluator in International Admissions or the Graduate School. The evaluator may ask for updated financial documentation if your current information is more than one year old.
  6. Once the evaluator has reviewed and processed the change, all documents will be sent to International Student and Scholar Services. You will receive an email when your new I-20 is ready to be picked up.

Completing your program

Completion of studies occurs when you have finished your academic program or your I-20/DS-2019 expires, whichever happens first. After completing your studies at MU, you have the following options:

  • F-1 students: You have up to 60 days to leave
  • J-1 students: You have up to 30 days to leave
  • F-1 students: You have up to 60 days to change your level or program at MU (see instructions above)
  • J-1 students: You must change your level or program before completing your studies
  • International sponsored students: Your sponsor may need to transfer your SEVIS record before you can continue your studies
  • If you change funding source or pursue a new objective, you may need to leave the U.S. before continuing your studies at MU
  • F-1 students: You have up to 60 days to request a transfer to a new school
  • J-1 students: You must request to transfer to a new school before completing your studies
  • F-1 students: You must apply for OPT before the end of your 60-day grace period (you should apply three months before you expect to start your employment)
  • J-1 students: You must request Academic Training authorization before completing your studies
  • International sponsored students: You should check with your sponsor about your eligibility to work
  • F-1 students: You must apply for a change of status within 60 days of completing your studies
  • J-1 students: You must apply for a change of status before completing your studies

If you are not sure which option is best for you, meet with an international student adviser to discuss your situation.