HOW TO CHange status within the U.S.
- Apply and get accepted by an SEVP-certified school.
- Receive an initial Form I-20 "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status" from the school with the 'Issue Reason' stating "Change of Status".
- Go to FMJfee.com to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee.
- Check the "Guidelines to Change Status" to make sure that you are eligible.
- If you are eligible, carefully read "Instructions for Form I-539".
- File the Form I-539 "Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status".
You may enroll and begin studying while your change of status application is pending if you meet the following conditions:
- You are eligible to change status
- You have submitted an application to change to F or M student status
- You are not currently in the United States on a visa waiver program or on a B-1/B-2, C, D, K, S or V visa
- Receive a Form I-797A "Notice of Action" which will include an updated Form I-94 "Arrival/Departure Record" with your new status and the day you must depart the United States .
If you are changing status from B-1/B-2 to F or M student, you cannot begin your studies until your change of status is approved by USCIS. If USCIS has not adjudicated your change of status at least 15 days before the program start date on your Form I-20, contact the DSO at your new school. You may need to defer attendance. If USCIS denies your application, be prepared to leave the United States when your current status expires.