Change of Status

How to Change Status to an F-1 Student Visa

If you are already in the United States and have been maintaining your current non-immigrant status, you may apply for change of status.

1: Admission

To get started please contact an admissions representative and request the school application.
If you are having trouble our friendly staff can help you out they also speaks many languages; please ask for someone who speaks your native language to help you out.

2: Documents

  • Passport (should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended period of study in the United States)
  • Entry Visa (in passport)
  • I-94 form arrival/departure (white card in your passport)
  • DS-2019 form (only for J-1 students)
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended stay
  • Copy of High School or University Diploma (translated into English)

If you have a spouse and/or children who are going to accompany you while in the US, you will need to provide the following documents in order to submit each dependent’s I-20:

  • Copy of Passport for each dependent (should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended period of study in the United States)
  • Proof of your relationship to your spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates translated into English)

3: School Fees

You need to pay the following fees:

  • $150 Application Fee
  • $150 Processing Fee

In most of the cases you can pay online.

4: I-20 Form

When we have reviewed your application and determine that you meet all academic and financial standards for admission, the DSO  will issue you a SEVIS I-20 form.

5: SEVIS Fee

After you have received your form I-20, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. You may also pay online.

6: Mailing All Documents

To apply for a change to F-1 status in the United States, you must submit the following documents to the correct USCISService Center:

  • Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Form I-20, properly signed by the DSO and by you
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee
  • Copy of Passport ID pages
  • Copy of Entry Visa
  • Copy of Form I-94
  • Original financial documents (financial evidence that shows you or your sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended stay).
  • $300 personal check or money order for USCIS (make it payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security).
  • Letter from you (It is optional for you to send a letter explaining why you want to change status to F-1. However, a strong letter can help convince USCIS of your temporary intent.)

7: Approval

You may start attending school before the application for change of status has been approved, unless you are a nonimmigrant changing to F-1 from B-1, B-2 or F-2 status.

8: Report to School or College


You need to report to your School or College immediately after your application for change of status has been approved and do the following to have your SEVIS record registered in SEVIS in a timely fashion:

  • Bring approval documents from USCIS
  • Take the placement test
  • Get your books, class schedule and make arrangements to pay tuition.

We wish you luck with your studies!