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Change of Status

Change of Status to F-1

Obtaining F-1 Status  

Issuance of an I-20 does not give you F-1 status in the United States. There are two ways to obtain F-1 status:

  1. Apply for change of status to F-1 within the U.S. through USCIS.
  2. Apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad and use that visa to enter the U.S.

Eligibility to Change Status within the U.S.

  • Valid non-immigrant status
  • Admittance to Metropolitan Community College with an I-20
  • I-94 does not expire before MCC’s quarter starts, otherwise you may need to apply for an extension of your current status.

Statuses Not Eligible to Change Status to F-1 within the U.S.

  • Holders of C, D, K and M visas
  • Visitors with WT or WB status (Visa Waiver Program)
  • J-1 & J-2 non-immigrants with a 2-year home residency requirement
  • Non-immigrants who overstayed or violated their status  

Important Points

  • Applications for a change of status must be received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) before the applicant’s current status ends.  
  • B-1/B-2 visitors who arrived into the U.S. after 4/12/2002 are not permitted to enroll or attend classes until their F-1 status has been approved.
  • F-2 visa recipients, dependents of an F-1, may not enroll in a program until the F-1 status is approved.  
  • Students will not be eligible for off-campus employment authorization until F-1 status has been approved and enrollment requirements are met.  

Instructions

  1. Apply for admission to MCC as a prospective F-1 student: change of status.
  2. If you are accepted, International Student Services (ISS) will issue you an Initial Attendance – Change of Status Requested I-20 and an acceptance letter.
  3. Schedule an appointment with an immigration lawyer to discuss the change of status application process. You may also need to apply for an extension of stay.
  4. Stay in contact with the ISS office while your change of status is pending.   
    • Notify the ISS office of any changes in your home address, phone number, or e-mail address.   
    • Provide the ISS office with a copy of your USCIS I-539 receipt notice (Form I-797) as soon as you receive it.
    • Prior to the beginning of each academic quarter, you will need to notify the ISS office of whether or not you wish to defer your attendance to the next quarter.  If you fail to notify us, we will need to cancel your SEVIS record.
    • As requested, provide the ISS office with your updated Financial Affidavit and bank statement .