F-1 Students: Updated I-20 Format

As you may know, USCIS updated the format of Form I-20 in June 2015.  As part of the new form rollout, USCIS will require every F-1 student (and any F-2 dependents) to have the updated Form I-20 for all benefit applications and travel starting July 1, 2016. If you are in F-1 status, OIA asks that you follow the instructions below to check if you need an updated I-20 and take action, if needed. This information applies to F-1 Students only. J-1 students can disregard this message.  Please read the entire message before taking any action.

This is an I-20 formatting change only.  All information on your I-20 will remain the same. Only the formatting is different. If you have received a new I-20 any time after June 30, 2015, you should already have the updated I-20 version.  Additionally, if you currently have an immigration application pending with OIA (e.g. OPT, CPT, extension, RCL, etc), you will receive the updated I-20 when your request is processed.

Finishing your program?
If your program ends before July 1 and you are leaving the U.S, you do not need an updated I-20.  If you are eligible and apply for post-completion OPT, an updated I-20 will be provided when you submit the OPT application to OIA.

What You Need to Do:

1: Compare your most recently issued Form I-20 to the images shown below. 

  • If your current I-20 looks like the one on the right (with the big ‘OK’), no additional action is needed.  You do not need to get a new I-20 and can continue using the document you have. You do not need to confirm anything with OIA and you can disregard this message.
  • If your document looks like the one on the left (with the big X), you have an outdated I-20 and you will need to get an updated copy. Please see below for instructions on obtaining a new I-20.

new i20 picture_1.PNG

How to Get a New, Updated Format I-20

1: OIA Walk-In

Bring a photo ID (student ID or passport) and get a new I-20 at the OIA front desk anytime during business hours.  No appointment is needed to get a re-print. The re-print will be made while you wait and will take about 10 minutes.  We will provide an updated travel signature on your new I-20.

Save time at the OIA front desk.  Fill out the Updated I-20 Request Form (until July 1 only) and your new I-20 will be printed and ready to pick up before you come to OIA.  Your new I-20 will be ready for pick up two business days after submitting the form. Note that is option will only be available until July 1. 

2: Receive a New Document By Mail

If you are outside of Chicago and require a reprint, submit the re-print and mail request form and a new I-20 will be sent to you based on the shipping option you choose.  Once you submit this form, your new document(s) will be mailed in 5-7 business days.  We will provide an updated travel signature on your new I-20.

Left Chicago for Summer Break?
If you have already left the U.S. for the summer and won’t be returning until fall quarter, we can send you a new I-20 free of charge via regular mail once you fill out the re-print form linked above.  Although the new I-20 rule goes into effect on July 1, you will only need the new I-20 for your return travel into the U.S.  As long as you have the new I-20 by the time you re-enter the U.S., you will be fulfilling your immigration responsibilities.

The new I-20 rule goes into effect on July 1, 2016. After July 1, you may encounter problems during travel, visa applications, employment onboarding, and immigration benefit applications if you do not have the updated I-20 when you apply for these benefits or enter the country.

Make sure to keep all previous I-20 forms for your records.  Please contact your OIA adviser if you have any questions.