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Change of Status Information

International Students

Change of Status Information

F-1 student status is appropriate if you plan to pursue full-time studies in the United States. If you are currently in the United States on a non-immigrant visa classification you may change to F-1 student status by travel or by filing an application with the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS].

Eligibility for a Change of Status

In general, if you are a non-immigrant who has maintained lawful status you may apply for a change of status to F-1 student by submitting an application with the USCIS.

Exceptions: If any of the following apply, you will not be able to file an application for a change of status with the USCIS:

  • You are a non-immigrant subject to the Section 212[e] two-year home residency requirement are ineligible to apply.
  • You are currently in WT or WB status.
  • You cannot demonstrate current lawful status.

If you are not eligible to file an application for a change of status within the U.S., it may be possible to travel outside the U.S. to apply for the F-1 student visa and enter the U.S. in a new status.

Students that have had a permanent residency petition filed should consult with an immigration attorney working on that petition regarding your plans to file for F-1 student status.

Information if your current visa status is F-2 or B-1/B-2 or WT/WB

Students in F-2 dependent status, B-1/B-2 visitor status, or WT/WB CANNOT enroll in classes until the Change of Status to F-1 request is granted.

After Your Change of Status is Approved

Once you receive your approval notice, you will need to contact the PDSO/DSO at (949) 214-3473 or [email protected] and schedule an appointment.

You will need to bring the following items to your appointment:

  • Approval Notice
  • Stamped I-20
  • I-94 card
  • Passport

You will be asked to attend Legal Orientation to gain a better understanding of your responsibilities as an F-1 visa holder. Your SEVIS record will be activated after you have met with a PDSO/DSO.

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