Requirements To Change Your Status
Well, this is where you start applying for a change of status.
If you wish to change your non-immigrant status to F-1 and are traveling outside the U.S., you must apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. embassy/consulate and use your I-20 issued by your school to re-enter the U.S. Although costly, this is often the fastest way to become an F-1 student. If your current non-immigrant status is expired, then this option is the best choice. If your current stay is not expired and you wish to change your non-immigrant status to F-1 while you stay in the United States, please follow these instructions. A change of status only changes your permission to stay in the U.S. ; your I-94 card. You do not receive an F-1 visa stamp in your passport with an approved change of status. This means that if you need to travel outside of the U.S. in the future, generally you will be required to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. embassy/consulate. There is no guarantee that an F-1 visa stamp will be issued even if the U.S. immigration service approved your change of status to F-1 student. For this reason, students often feel more comfortable leaving the U.S. and applying for the F-1 visa first before they make an investment in school. Individuals with N,D,C,K,WT,WB,M-1 cannot change to an F-1 visa within the US. If you currently have A and G status you must first get approval from the US State Department using form I-566 before a change of status can be sent to USCIS.
Note: No school is responsible for approving your Visa status. The decision of approving completely depends on the US embassy or Consulate .
Instructions on Applying for a Change of Status
- ı Apply for admission to any school once you are admitted and have met all admission requirements, an I-20 form will be issued to
- ı Meet with an International Student Advisor at the International office. Not all categories of visas allow a student to begin study before
- a change of status to F-1 is granted and not all categories of visas are allowed to change status to F-1 Please do not begin school
- without speaking with an International Student Advisor first.
- ı Pay the SEVIS fee of $200 for the I-901 form.
- ı Completed form I-539 (application to extend/change non-immigrant status).
- ı Fee of $290.00 for Form I-539, make a check or money order payable to: US Department of Homeland Security”. Do not send cash.
- ı Photocopy of both sides of the I-94 card from your passport.
- ı I-134 affidavit of support only if you have a US sponsor.
- ı All three original pages of the I-20 issued by your school print your name, sign and date page 1 at the bottom.
- ı Photocopy of passport information page, expiration date, and U.S. visa page.
- ı Evidence of financial support. For example bank statement,documentation from Sponsor, etc. When including bank statements from
- an account you have in the U.S., include your last 4 statements, not a letter from the bank. Include sufficient documentation from any
- sponsor, such as tax returns, statement of sponsorship, wages, bank statements, Etc. Bank letters are not generally accepted by the
- immigration service. .(3 copies)
- ı Letter explaining why you want to change your status
- ı Proof of registration and payment of tuition and fees, if you are currently attending school. Proof of paid application fee if you have
- not yet begun school.
- ı Proof of your U.S. address (example: contract lease, utility bill, phone bill, bank statements).
- ı Proof of your home country address (example: evidence of ownership of property of yourself or your Family, driver’s license).
- ı Support letter from the International Affairs Office giving your application and acceptance dates.
- Copy of marriage certificate
- Copy of spouse’s I-20, visa, I-94, passport information/expiration date
- letter from spouse’s school verifying current F-1 status.