International Student Services
 

Change of Status

An individual may change status by:

  • Exiting the US and applying for a new visa and making a new entry or
  • Applying to change status within the U.S.

Applicants for change of non-immigrant status are encouraged to meet with an ISP adviser to review the application procedure and check documents prior to submitting the application for change of status

When to Apply

If you are in one non-immigrant classification and wish to change to another classification (i.e. F-2 to F-1), you must apply to US Citizenship & Immigration Services for a change of status prior to expiration of your previous status.

Eligibility

In order to change status, you must:

  1. Have been maintaining your current non-immigrant status.
  2. Have a valid passport

Procedures

  • Obtain evidence of your eligibility for the new status (SEVIS I-20/DS-2019).
  • Complete form I-539 (form I-539 can be downloaded at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-539.pdf;
    Instructions are at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-539instr.pdf.
  • Financial verification (e.g. bank statement, assistantship offer letter, etc.).
  • Letter requesting change of status and explaining why the change is needed. Include the reason you did not enter the U.S. in desired status from the start, if applicable.
  • Copy of valid passport with visa.
  • I-94 form (front and back), be sure to photocopy this card to keep with your records.
  • $300 check or money order (payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security).
  • If on dependent visa, provide a copy of principal's documents (e.g. passport, visa, I-94 and I-20ID/DS-2019).
  • Copy of marriage certificate, if applicable.
  • I-94s of any dependents who will be changing status with you.
  • Copy of SEVIS fee receipt (see SEVIS 901 Fee) www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm

See I-539 instructions for mailing address

Check Status of Application

USCIS maintains a website where you can check the status of your application. Please visit Case Status Search Page to check the status of your application.

Notification of Change of Status Approval

If you change your status while at CSI (i.e. from F-1 to H-1B or permanent resident), you must notify ISP with appropriate documentation (e.g. approval notice, stamped I-20/DS-2019).

If you are employed at CSI when a change of status occurs, you must notify Payroll Services, and the hiring department (i.e. from F-1 to H-1B, etc. or to that of a permanent resident or immigrant). Notification is necessary so that CSI's records are current and consistent. Non-immigrants can incur significant tax liability if their tax withholding is not consistent with their immigration status.