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Form I-20

The Form I-20, issued by BYU, is a certificate of eligibility provided for you to apply for an F-1 student visa or to change your status.

It functions as a record of F-1 lawful status throughout your stay in the U.S. and must be valid at ALL times.

You should keep all of your original I-20s even after a new one has been issued to reflect updated information or transfer of schools. This is recommended for future government applications where proof of enrollment is needed and/or other work applications.

DO NOT let your I-20 expire if you still plan to continue your program.

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Understanding Your I-20

  • Page 1 — Personal information that includes the following:
    • school, program, and level of study
    • program expiration date
    • required finances and funding sources
    • any dependents here in the U.S.
    • any notations by a DHS official
    • Signature of your Designated School Official (DSO)
    • Your signature signifying that you have read and certify the information
  • Page 2 — Authorizations
    • Any authorizations for curricular practical training
    • Any recommendation for optional practical training
    • any change of status or authorized reduced course loads
    • Current semester start/end date
    • Any travel endorsement signatures of a DSO affirming that the information on the front of your I-20 is correct and you are currently in status for the purpose of re-entering the U.S.
      • We recommend that students update this signature any time they plan to travel and come back to the U.S.
  • Page 3 — "Instructions to Students"
    • Please read and understand this information. It should be followed in order to maintain your status.
Initial I-20
Change of Major
Travel Signature
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Extending Your I-20

If you need more time to finish your program beyond the completion date on your Form I-20, you must apply for an Extension of Program before the completion date.

  • We recommend that you apply no less than 30 days prior.

Check out the new international student checklist here and check each item on the list upon completion.

Follow the link and navigate to "Complete Enrollment Requirements: Obtain a Form I-20"

Please wait until you have been accepted into BYU AND have received an email from our office with instructions on how to receive your initial I-20. You will need to upload all of the required information in order to receive this I-20.

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Changing Your Major
  • If changing your major extends the time you need to graduate, you will need to extend your I-20 instead of filling out this request. Please see the "extension" tab above.
  • Graduate students who want to change degree levels should check with Graduate Studies for information and necessary forms.
  1. Be declared or accepted into your new major in BYU's system.
    • If you need help with this, please talk to your new major's department.
  2. If you have taken more than 45 credits, talk with your academic advisor to create a graduation plan.
    • Be sure that your academic advisor signs the graduation plan.
    • If you have no taken more than 45 credits, you do not need to upload a graduation plan.
  3. Fill out the E-form by clicking on "I-20 Update Request," then use the drop-down bar to click on "Change of Major."
  4. Follow the directions.

Note: It is a government requirement that your current I-20 major should match your actual university major.

We recommend that students get an updated travel signature no older than 6 months each time they travel outside of the U.S. Please read over the following options to get a travel signature:

  1. Make sure all of the information (major, sponsor, etc.) on your I-20 is up to date.
    • Bring your I-20 in-person. If an advisor is available, they will be able to sign it when you come in or within 3-5 days.
    • Request a travel signature online through the E-forms website.
      • Select F-1 Student Services, I-20 Update Request, then Travel Signature
      • This could take up to 3-5 business days and you will be emailed once your I-20 is ready.

Other changes or requests regarding your I-20 can be done through our E-forms website. These may include but are not limited to:

  • Lost I-20
  • Change of sponsor/finances
  • Dependent I-20s for spouse and/or children
  • Name change
  • OPT approval
  • Reinstatement of F-1 status
  • Cap-gap I-20 for H1-Bs