Change to F-1 Status Guide

Change to F-1 Status

      I.         OVERVIEW

If your original reason for coming to the United States changes, you may be required to change your nonimmigrant status to a different one before you lawfully begin to engage in the activities you want to pursue. See 8 CFR § 248.1(c).

     II.         ELIGIBILITY

A nonimmigrant is eligible to change to an F-1 status in the following circumstances:

1.        I do not currently have a C, D, K, M, or S visa.

2.        I am not in the United States under the visa waiver program.

3.        If I am currently in J-1 status, I am not subject to a 2-year home country residency requirement.

   III.         TO APPLY

1.     Schedule an appointment with an international student advisor. Be sure to bring:

a.      Completed Form I-539 found at

b.     I-901 fee (SEVIS fee) receipt found at (will print in appointment)

c.      Current I-94 card (given to you on the plane and likely stapled inside your passport). If you entered the U.S. after May 2013, go to: to retrieve the I-94 number.

d.      Current, valid passport

e.      Current, valid visa stamp (inside passport, unless stamped in old passport)

f.      Evidence of financial support sufficient to meet expenses detailed on I-20

g.     Truthful written statement to USCIS explaining why you want to become a student after arriving to the U.S. in another visa category and why you deserve a change of status. You must establish that your original intention for entering the U.S. was not to become a student.

h.     Check or money order (money order preferred) for $290 addressed to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”

i.      Admission letter from Kent State University


NOTE:  If you are in any dependent status (F-2, J-2, or H-4) bring the principal visa holder’s immigration documents to your appointment in addition to the above-listed documentation. Make an Appointment

Change to F-1 Status