I have been accepted for the Master's program in my university and I am currently a Bachelor's program student.

If I were to accept this and change my Bachelor's degree into a Dual BS/MS degree, will my visa be extended or will. I have to apply for a new visa?

If I were to instead choose another university for my master's program and obtain two separate degrees, will that involve a visa extension with a new I-20 or a new visa as well?

1 Answer 1



Your visa will not be extended without you applying at a consulate. However if you supply the proper documentation to the international students' office at your university they will extend your I-20, thereby giving you legal status to remain in the country. If your visa has expired and you leave the US (to a place other than Canada or Mexico) you will require a new visa to re-enter and pursue your Masters.

If you choose to join another university, the same thing applies - they will issue you an I-20 which will give you legal status in the country. You can remain in the country with an expired visa and a valid I-20 A new visa is not required unless yours is expired and you exit and re-enter. You can apply for a new visa with the new, current I-20.

Also see internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/students/current/transfer_out

  • Thanks! Can you provide me with some more details or information I can read including this. I didn't expect to be automatically extended of course but I was not aware that I could join a separate university and even then just get my visa extended. ^_^ Jun 16, 2014 at 1:22
  • See here for example: internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/students/current/transfer_out By the way, your visa would not be extended, but your status in the US can remain legal.
    – Ansari
    Jun 16, 2014 at 3:03
  • Okay, so that means, the visa cannot be extended, if I wish to reenter the country, then I must apply for a new visa? Does this also mean that in case of an F-1 student like me, it is possible to legally remain in the country even with an expired visa as long as I have a valid I-20? Jun 16, 2014 at 4:51
  • Yes, you need to apply for a new visa with a current, valid I-20. Yes, you can remain in the country with an expired visa and a valid I-20: ice.gov/sevis/travel/faq_f2.htm#_Toc81222012
    – Ansari
    Jun 16, 2014 at 5:03
  • 1
    @AdityaSomani: A U.S. "visa" is only for entry to the U.S. It has nothing to do with remaining in the U.S., which is determined by your status. You don't need a valid visa to remain in the U.S. -- you need legal status.
    – user102008
    Jun 16, 2014 at 5:15

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