Change of Status to J-1

Students in a another non-immigrant status who wish to be J-1 students may apply for a change of status to J-1 by submitting an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Individuals in the following statuses may not request a change of status to J-1:

  • C (aliens in transit)
  • D (alien crewmen)
  • WB or WT(visa waiver)
  • J-2’s subject to the 212(e) home residence requirement are also not eligible for a change of status to J-1.

A student may remain in the United States while the change of status application is pending with USCIS. The student may also enroll in classes at UTD if their current status allows it. The student may not work on or off-campus until there change of status application has been approved.

At any given time, the ISSO will issue a DS-2019 for a student wishing to change their status for a future semester start date. The processing time for the ISSO to issue the DS-2019 is 5 business days and the USCIS processing time is around 2.5 – 3 months. Processing times vary by USCIS Service Center.

To apply for a DS-2019 for a change of status to J-1 submit the following to the ISSO:

  • J-1 student DS-2019 Request form.
  • Proof of financial support for the entire length of your J-1 program.
  • Proof of financial support for your dependents if applicable.
  • Copy of the ID page of your passport.
  • Copy of the ID page of your dependent’s passports if applicable.

After collecting your DS-2019 compile the following documents to mail to USCIS:

  • Form G-1145. Optional. Provides notification that your application has been received by USCIS.
  • Form I-539. Filled out by the student.
  • Copy of your DS-2019 signed by you and the ARO.
  • Copy of your dependents DS-2019 signed by you and the ARO if applicable.
  • Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 fee receipt.
  • Proof of financial support.
  • Proof of your current status: copy of I-94, visa or I-797 approval notice
  • Proof of your dependents status if applicable: copy of I-94, visa or I-797 approval notice.
  • Proof of dependent’s relationship to you: copy of marriage or birth certificate.
  • Letter of intent. Optional.

The U.S. address you enter on page one of the I-539 determines the USCIS Service Center where it will be processed.  To confirm where to send your application please refer to the Form I-539 Instructions on the USCIS website .

Once the application has been received by USCIS an I-797 Receipt Notice will be sent to the U.S. address entered on page one of Form I-539. The receipt will contain a tracking number that the you can use to track the status of the application on the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/.

If approved, USCIS will send an I-797 Approval Notice to the U.S. address entered on page one of Form I-539 which indicates your new status and start date.

If denied, USCIS will send a Denial Notice to the U.S. address entered on page one of Form I-539. If you believe your application was denied in error you may file a Motion to Re-Open or Re-Consider with the help of an Immigration Attorney.