If you are not currently in one of the following statuses, you may apply for a Change of Status to F-1 without leaving the United States
- M-1 students
- C, D, K, and S nonimmigrants
- J-1 physicians admitted to receive graduate medical education or training
- J nonimmigrants subject to the 212(e) 2-year foreign residence requirement
- Aliens admitted as visitors under 8 C.F.R. § 212.1(e)
- WT and WB visitors admitted under the Visa Waiver Program.
If you are in a valid visa status at the time your application for Change of Status is received, you are allowed to remain in the United States during the time that it takes for USCIS to adjudicate your request as long as your current status will continue to be valid up until the date that the new status is requested to begin.
You will need to provide the same evidence of financial support and non-immigrant intent required for issuance of a non-immigrant student visa at an embassy or consular office abroad.
Prior to applying for the Change of Status to F-1, you must be fully admitted to a program of study and obtain an “Initial Attendance – Change of Status” form I-20 from our Office of Admissions. You will sign this form and send it along with the documents listed below to the correct (depending upon your address) USCIS Service Center for adjudication.
- Form I-539 and fee – Application to extend or change nonimmigrant status. The student should complete the entire form and sign it. The fee may be sent in the form of a check or money order.
- Copies of financial support documents – The same documents provided to the university to obtain the form I-20.
- Proof of payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee
- The original Form I-94
- Copies of current immigration status documents, visa stamp, and passport ID pages
- Dependent family member documentation (for any dependents in the U.S. also desiring to change status)
- A letter (optional) explaining why you would like to change your status in the U.S. (as opposed to returning to your home country to obtain the student visa).
You will want to make a copy of the entire package for your records as well as use a receipt-based mailing option in order to obtain proof of the arrival of your packet at its destination.