Change of Status (Within the US)

In many cases it is possible to apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change of status. Please consider the following before applying:

  • USCIS will consider your entry visa type, and whether you actually intended to be in the U.S. for the purpose you stated at the port of entry. For example, if you entered on a B-1/B-2 visitor's visa, then they must be convinced that you actually came to be a visitor, and that is what you have been until you decided to change.
  • Entry on a visitor's visa when intending to study may be considered fraudulent entry.
  • Visitors who entered on a "visa waiver" (it will say WT or WB on your I-94 card), are not eligible to study, extend their status, or to change status in the U.S.
  • When the application to UNT, the issuance of the I-20, and the application to USCIS is prior to 60 days of B status in the U.S., the request will quite likely be denied.

In this case it is best to travel outside the U.S., obtain an F-1 visa, and reenter as an F-1.

  • The application may take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to be approved or denied. You are able to stay in the U.S. while USCIS is considering your application.
  • Students changing to F-1 from B-1, B-2, or F-2, must obtain the F-1 approval before beginning classes.
  • "A" visa status applicants to change status must first have an I-566 form completed and endorsed by the foreign mission to the U.S. and the Department of State. Forms can be downloaded from www.uscis.gov.
  • I-539 forms can be obtained from International Student and Scholar Services, or from the www.uscis.gov website.
  • The Department of Homeland Security SEVIS fee must be paid before applying to change to F-1 or J-1. Change to dependent status does not need to pay the fee. Include a copy of the payment receipt. This can be paid by credit card over the internet, or by mail-in. The form and instructions are on https://www.fmjfee.com
    • On the form in #14:
      • For change to F-1, the school code is DAL214F00610000
      • For change to J-1, the program number is P103874

Application Processes
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Request for Change of Status I-20 (for ISSS to issue you a new I-20).
  • Check or money order for $300 made out to Department of Homeland Security, or USCIS.
  • Proof of payment of $200 SEVIS fee to change to F-1 or $180 to change to J-1. Change to dependent status does not include the SEVIS fee.  See www.fmjfee.com for online payment. Print out receipt and send a copy with your application.
  • I-539 form.
  • Financial documentation. If using bank statements, include 3 months of statements.
  • Photocopy of I-94 card, both sides. Photocopies of passport and visa.
  • Include copies of dependent's immigration documents, if included in the application.

Changes in Visa Status
B-2 to F-1
Apply to UNT only after being in the U.S. as a visitor for at least 60 days.
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic Application
  • I-20, original document, both pages, signed in #11 on first page.

F-1 to B-2
Consult International Student and Scholar Services for proper mailing address.
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic Application.
  • Photocopy of I-20.
  • Transcript
  • Letter explaining why a Change of Status is requested

B-2 to F-2
Apply after being in U.S. for at least 60 days
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic Application
  • Dependent I-20 showing dependent and dependent expenses, signed in #11 by F-1. Original document.
  • Photocopies of spouse's F-1 immigration documents
  • Spouse's transcripts
  • Marriage certificate (see form I-539 to know if a translation is required)

F-2 to F-1
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic Application
  • I-20 of prospective F-1, original document, both pages, signed in #11 on first page.
  • Copy of spouse's I-20, showing you as dependent
  • Photocopy of spouse's F-1 immigration documents.
  • Transcripts of F-1 parent or spouse

F-1 to F-2
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic application
  • Dependent I-20 showing you as dependent. Original document, both pages, signed in #11 on first page by F-1.
  • Copy of your spouse's other immigration documents
  • Copy of your old I-20
  • Transcripts: both yours and your spouse's (if your spouse is already a student)
  • Marriage certificate (see form I-539 to know if a translation is required).

H-1b or H-4 to F-1
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic application
  • I-20 of prospective F-1, original document, both pages, signed in #11 on first page.
  • Copy of H-1 approval

J-1 or J-2 to F-1
J-1's and J-2's must either not be subject to 212(e), or have a waiver
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic application
  • I-20 of prospective F-1, original document, both pages, signed in #11 on first page.
  • J-2's must include copies of the J-1's documents
  • If the J-1 is a student, include transcript (s)
  • If subject to 212(e), the two year home residency, a copy of the waiver approval.

A to F-1
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic application
  • I-20 of prospective F-1, original document, both pages, signed in #11 on first page.
  • I-566 form, completed and endorsed by the foreign mission to the U.S. and the U.S. Department of State

E or L to F-1
The application to USCIS should include the following:

  • Basic application
  • I-20 of prospective F-1, original document, both pages, signed in #11 on first page.
  • If a dependent, copies of the primary visa holder's documents