How to Apply

Change of Status

If you are already in the United States and have been maintaining your current nonimmigrant status, you may apply for Change of Status. Please note that it's a complicated process and takes time for the application to be processed.

1: Admission

Please contact an admissions representative. Our friendly staff speaks many languages; please ask for someone who speaks your native language. Alternatively, you can fill out our application form and our advisers will contact you.

2: Documents

  • Passport (should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended period of study in the United States)
  • Entry Visa (in passport)
  • I-94 (Arrival/departure record) Print out I-94
  • DS-2019 form (only for J-1 students)
  • Financial evidence proving you or your sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended stay
  • Copy of High School or University Diploma (translated into English)

If you have a spouse and/or children who are going to accompany you while in the US, you will need to provide the following documents in order to submit each dependent’s I-20:

  • Copy of Passport for each dependent (should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended period of study in the United States)
  • Proof of your relationship to your spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates translated into English)

3: School Fees

You are required to pay the following:

  • $150 Application Fee

You may pay online. Please contact your SOLEX admissions representative for assistance.

4: I-20 Form

When we have reviewed your application to determine that all academic and financial standards for admission have been met, the DSO will issue you a SEVIS I-20 form.

5: SEVIS Fee

After you have received your form I-20, you are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee $350. You may pay online.

6: Mailing All Documents

To apply for a change to F-1 status in the United States, you must submit the following documents to the correct USCIS Service Center:

  • Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Copy of your Form I-20, properly signed by the DSO and by you
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS I-901 $350 fee
  • Copy of Passport ID pages
  • Copy of Entry Visa
  • Arrival/Departure Record print out I-94
  • Original financial documents (financial evidence proving you or your sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended stay)
  • Personal check or money order for $455 (made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
  • Personal letter (a letter explaining why you want to study in the United States)

Please note that you must maintain a valid nonimmigrant status while your Form I-539 change to F-1 status application is pending. If your current nonimmigrant status will expire more than 30 days before your F-1 program start date. You will need to file a separate Form I-539 to request to extend your current status or change to another nonimmigrant status, in addition to your other Form I-539 application to change to student status. If you do not file this separate request prior to the expiration of your status, USCIS will deny your Form I-539 request to change to F-1 status. USCIS Change to F-1 status

7: Approval

You may start attending school before the application for Change of Status has been approved, unless you are a nonimmigrant changing to F-1 from B-1, B-2 or F-2 status

8: Report to school

Report to your school immediately after your application for Change of Status has been approved, and do the following to have your SEVIS record registered in SEVIS in a timely fashion:

  • Bring approval documents from USCIS
  • Take the placement test
  • Obtain your books, class schedule, and pay tuition.

We wish you luck with your studies!