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Eligibility

An alien in most nonimmigrant statuses except C, D, K, or M (and in certain cases J and B), and except an alien who has entered the United States under the terms of the Visa-Waiver Program, can apply for a change to/from F-1 status if he or she has maintained lawful nonimmigrant status up to the time the application is filed. 

Steps

Steps to apply for a Change of Status:
1)  Look below for the change of visa status instructions that apply to your situation.
2)  All applicants below must fill out the I-539 form. Any USCIS forms listed here can be found on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms. Please note: Do not "e-file" the I-539. You must submit it on paper through your international student advisor with your entire application. 
3)  Turn in the following documents to the NDSU Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services (ISSAS). Please contact ISSAS if you have questions about your change of status plans.
4)  Our office will review the documents and will prepare them and will notify you when they are ready for you to pick them up. Then, mail the entire application to USCIS, to the address as listed in the "Where to File?" section of the instructions of the I-539 form.

Also note that a change of status by travel may also be an option in your situation - please contact your international student advisor with any questions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the method you use to change your visa status.

Other Questions?

Other questions?
Visit with your international student advisor. Note that this page refers to documents needed to do a change of status from within the United States. Sometimes it is more appropriate to travel back to your home country to receive a new visa stamp for the new status. Your international student advisor can discuss those options with you. Remember that when you file for a change of status from within the United States, you will not receive a visa stamp in your passport, and that once you have filed you cannot leave the United States while the application is pending as that would be considered abandonment of the change of status petition.

Important

In addition - to best advise you, you must notify us of any other changes of status you currently have pending or planned for yourself in the near future, including any application for permanent residency (greencard). Failing to notify us of these situations can lead to immigration status problems and serious complications with your case(s).

Calculating Finances for Change of Status Application

For calculating finances needed: Please see our Estimate of Expenses.

Undergraduate expenses

Graduate expenses

 

 

ALL STUDENTS: DOCUMENTS NEEDED

  1. USCIS Form I-539

    • $370 application fee: Check or money order written out to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security"

  2. USCIS Form G-1145 for electronic (email/text) notification of receipt of application by USCIS
  3. Change of Status Agreement (given to you by your International Student Advisor)
  4. Statement from you, explaining your reason for a change of status
  5. Bank statement and financial documents

    • If your financial sponsor is located in the U.S., and is someone other than your own husband/wife, please have your sponsor fill out USCIS Form I-134, "Affidavit of Support," and submit this along with the rest of your application materials to USCIS
    • For calculating finances needed: Please see below.

Change of Status to F-2

F-1 to F-2

  1. Copy of your spouse's I-20, visa, I-94 record and passport (biography and photo page)
  2. Copy of your F-1 I-20, visa, I-94 record and passport (biography and photo page), and a copy of your marriage certificate (with English translation if necessary)
  3. New SEVIS Dependent I-20
    • This is issued by an international student advisor after your entire application is complete.
  4. The principal F-1 spouse, will also receive a new, updated I-20 showing the updated finances and the new number of dependents.

 

 

Change of Status to F-1

When to File for F-1 Status

Note: For any changes to F-1, it is recommended to turn in your application 3-4 months prior to when you wish to begin studies as an F-1 student. Change of status applications are currently processed at the USCIS California Service Center. Please check the USCIS.gov website for current estimated processing times.  Even if the estimated processing time is showing as less than 3 months, we still recommend filing at least 3-4 months in advance to avoid any issues with your immigration status or ability to begin studies once the status change is approved.

F-2 to F-1

  1. NDSU admission letter
  2. Submit a copy of your spouse's (or parent's) I-20, visa, I-94 record, and passport biography/photo page
  3. Submit a copy of your F-2 I-20, visa, I-94 record, and passport biography/photo page, and a copy of your marriage certificate (or birth certificate if you are a dependent child of the F-1) (with English translation if necessary)
  4. Your new SEVIS I-20 (For 'Change of Status Requested') 
    • This is issued by an international student advisor after your entire application is complete.
  5. Copy of I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt  
    • Pay this online at http://www.fmjfee.com after your new SEVIS I-20 has been issued by your international student advisor.

 

 

H-4 to F-1

  1. NDSU admission letter
  2. Submit a copy of your spouse's H-1 approval notice, visa, I-94 and passport biography/photo page
  3. Submit a copy of your H-4 approval notice, visa, I-94 and passport biography/photo page and a copy of your marriage certificate (or a birth certificate if you are a dependent child of the H-1B) (with English translation if necessary)
  4. Your new SEVIS I-20 (For 'Change of Status Requested')
    • This is issued by an international student advisor after your entire application is complete.
  5. Copy of I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt  
    • Pay this online at www.fmjfee.com after your new SEVIS I-20 has been issued by your international student advisor.

 

 

H-1 to F-1

  1. NDSU admission letter
  2. Copy of your H-1 approval notice, visa, I-94, passport (biography and photo page)
  3. Letter from most recent employer explaining your last day of employment or expected last day of employment.
  4. Please also include your last pay stub/statement.  
    • Important: It is best for your immigration status if the change of status to F-1 can be filed while you still employed. The service center must receive your change of status application no later than 10 days after your H-1 employment has ended.  Please plan accordingly. 
  5. SEVIS I-20 (For 'Change of Status Requested')
    • This is issued by an international student advisor after your entire application is complete.
  6. Copy of I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt  
    • Pay this online at www.fmjfee.com after your new SEVIS I-20 has been issued by your international student advisor.

J-1 to F-1

Please note: If you are a J-1 (or J-2) who wishes to change your status to F-1, you must first visit with your international student advisor about your status and current J visa. Usually you will be required to travel home to get an F-1 visa stamp and not complete a change of status in the U.S. using the application process below. Visit with your international student advisor with any questions before beginning this process.

  1. NDSU admission letter
  2. Copy of your DS-2019, visa, I-94 record and passport (biography/photo page)
  3. New SEVIS I-20

    • This is issued by an international student advisor after your entire application is complete.

  4. Copy of I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt: Pay this online at www.fmjfee.com after your new SEVIS I-20 has been issued by your international student advisor.

J-2 to F-1

Please note: If you are a J-1 (or J-2) who wishes to change your status to F-1, you must first visit with your international student advisor about your status and current J visa. Usually you will be required to travel home to get an F-1 visa stamp and not complete a change of status in the U.S. using the application process below. Visit with your international student advisor with any questions before beginning this process.

  1. NDSU admission letter
  2. Copy of your spouse's DS-2019, visa, I-94 record, and passport (biography and photo page)
  3. Copy of your DS-2019, visa, I-94 record and passport (biography and photo page), and a copy of your marriage certificate (or birth certificate if you are a dependent child of the J-1) (with English translation if necessary)
  4. New SEVIS I-20 (For 'Change of Status Requested') 
    • This is issued by an international student advisor after your entire application is complete.
  5. Copy of I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt  
    • Pay this online at www.fmjfee.com after your new SEVIS I-20 has been issued by your international student advisor.

 

 

Change of Status to J-1

F-1 to J-1

  1. NDSU admission letter
  2. Copy of your I-20, visa, I-94 record and passport (biography and photo page)
  3. If you have family members who will be changing status with you, also include copies of your family members' I-20, visa, I-94 record, and passport (biography and photo page) and a copy of your marriage certificate (with English translation if necessary)
  4. New SEVIS DS-2019 (For 'Change of Status Requested') 
    • This is issued by an international student advisor after your entire application is complete.
  5. Copy of I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt  
    • Pay this online at www.fmjfee.com after your new SEVIS DS-2019 has been issued by your international student advisor.

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Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7895 - Fax: +1 (701) 231-1014
Campus address: Memorial Union 116
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave / Memorial Union 116, Fargo, ND  58102
Page manager: International Student and Study Abroad Services

Last Updated: Friday, December 23, 2016 3:31:25 PM
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