Change to F-1 Status
After entering the U.S., there are two methods to change from one visa status to another:
- Leave the U.S., apply at a U.S. consulate or embassy for a new visa and re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status.
- Remain in the U.S. and apply by mail to USCIS for a change of status.
Once approved for F-1 status, you become eligible for all F-1 status benefits.
- You must be admitted to a degree-seeking program with UT Dallas.
- You must be prepared to be full-time enrolled at UT Dallas for each fall and spring semester of F-1 status.
- You must hold a non-immigrant status other than C, D, K, M, WT /WB visitor or 212(e) subject J-1.
- You must be in a current, valid non-immigrant status.
- See the Change of Status Guide for information regarding changing status inside or outside the U.S.
- Consult with an international student advisor (if needed) regarding your choices and required documents.
- Submit the documents indicated in the change of status application to the International Student Service Office (ISSO).
- ISSO processing time is 5 business days once all the required documents are submitted. You will receive an email at your UT Dallas email when the completed documents are ready for pickup.
- If you are leaving the U.S. for the change, you will receive an Initial Form I-20 to take to the U.S. consulate.
- If you are remaining in the U.S., you will receive a completed and assembled application packet and mailing instructions.
- Notify ISSO – The change of status process is not complete until ISSO staff register your new status in SEVIS. If this step does not occur, your new status will expire in 30 days!
- If you left the U.S., upon return notify the ISSO and supply copies of the stamped I-20, I-94 and visa.
- If you remained in the U.S. and used the ISSO address, there is nothing further required.
- If you remained in the U.S. and used your home address, you must supply a copy of your new I-94.
- The waiting times for visa appointments vary from country to country. Check the website of the U.S. consulate you will visit for specifics.
- USCIS processing times vary each semester. You should expect at least 2 – 4 months.
- Students in non-study categories, such as F-2 or B-2, should not enroll until they receive written approval of the change to F-1 status.
- Students in non-work categories, such as H-4, must wait until receiving written approval of the change to F-1 status before beginning on-campus employment.