Change of Status to F-1
Your Current Visa's Eligibility:
Before you go through the long process of changing your
nonimmigrant status to F-1 from within the United States, make sure
that your current nonimmigrant status allows you to do so. Find out
if your current visa is eligible here.
Now, you need to find out if YOU are eligible to change your
status. If you can answer 'yes' to all of the following questions,
you can begin the change of status process.
Are you in the United States in a valid nonimmigrant status and
eligible to change to F-1 or M-1 status?
Will you be filing for your change of status and requesting the
status be changed before you current nonimmigrant status
Have you been accepted to an SEVP-certified school, received a
Form I-20, and paid the SEVIS I-901
Will you remain in the U.S. while you change of status is
pending (if you leave the U.S. while a change of status is pending,
your petition will automatically be denied)?
Change Your Status by Travel:
You will need to leave the United States and re-enter on an F-1
visa before your academic program begins at Butler University. We
recommend that you apply for the F-1 visa in your home country.
To learn how to apply for an F-1 visa outside the United States,
visit our 'Applying for Your Visa'
Change Your Status within the United States:
Visit the USCIS
website for the most current forms and information.
What you need:
To check for an updated I-539 filing address
Be prepared to depart the United States immediately if the
change of status application is denied.
If you currently have an F-2, M-2, B-1, and B-2,
you may not begin taking classes until the change of status is
approved. You are also ineligible for F-1 benefits until your
change of status is approved (i.e. on-campus employment, practical
It can take up to 6 months for your change of status to be
approved. IF it takes longer than 6 months, contact the Office of
International Student Services.
You will receive form I-797 from USCIS when your change of
status is approved. This will have your new I-94 card. Bring your
form I-797 to the OISS immediately.
If you leave the U.S. after your change of status has
been approved, you will need to renew your F-1 visa before you can
return to the U.S. Refer to our 'Maintaining Your Status' page
to learn how to renew your F-1 visa.