When you complete a program at OSU or INTO OSU and start a new education level, you will need to update your I-20 to reflect the change of education level.
Traveling between one level and the next can be tricky due to the time needed to confirm your admission and create your new I-20. In any case, you will not need to apply for a new F-1 visa simply because you have changed education levels. If your current visa is already expired and you leave the US, it is best to use the new I-20 to apply for a new visa.
I-20s are typically created within the first 2 weeks of the new program. If you will need yours earlier in order to renew your visa, please email us to request special processing.
In some circumstances, you may be able to travel with your previous I-20. In this case, all of the following must be true:
You do not need to renew your visa
Your previous I-20 is valid at least 1 term into the future and has a travel signature less than 1 year old
You are progressing from an INTO OSU program
We always recommend that students who are changing from one degree to another (Bachelors to Masters; Masters to PhD) use the new I-20 for travel outside the US, especially if a visa renewal is needed.
If you want to take a break between programs that will last 1 term or more, please speak to an international student advisor before you finalized your plans. Some breaks will require you to submit additional paperwork and may require a new SEVIS fee payment.
If you are working in a period of Optional Practical Training, we cannot create a new I-20 until you are finished with your employment. You will need to use the new I-20 for travel after completing your employment. You can use your previous I-20 to travel if you will be returning before the end of your employment.