Change of Status TO F-1 (student): (The Application Procedure)

Eligible individuals who wish to apply to change to F-1 status from within the U.S. must file the I-539 application prior to the expiration of their current immigration status. Applicants should ensure that they are able to maintain status during an extended processing time (up to 6 months).

To change your status to F-1 from within the U.S., please submit the following documents to Center for Global Engagement:

  • Completed Form I-539Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Filing Fee: Check for the appropriate fee amount. Please write your check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" 
  • Letter from the applicant indicating the applicant's original status, the status requested, and the circumstances or reason the change is being requested 
  • Original Form I-20: signed which you will receive from the Center for Global Engagement. (You will not get this I-20 back; but, keep another original for yourself)
  • Copy of I-901: SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Financial documentation: evidence which supports section 8 on your I-20
  • Photocopies of student's immigration documents: Passport photo page (and page showing expiration date); I-94 card (both sides); Visa (most recent, if available); Documentation of previous immigration status-may include H-1B approval notice, previous I-20 or DS-2019 forms

It is the obligation of the student to have all the requested materials and to check for the most up-to-date information regarding forms, instructions, and fees.

Students who are outside the U.S. or who are present in the U.S. in another immigration status and will travel abroad prior to beginning an educational program should apply for an F-1 visa from a U.S. consulate abroad to enter the U.S. in F-1 status. It is not necessary for an individual who changes status to F-1 within the U.S. to obtain a new visa unless the individual departs the United States and then wishes to return in F-1 status.