Change to F-1 Status Guide
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).
A nonimmigrant is eligible to change to an F-1 status in the following circumstances:
- I do not currently have a C, D, K, M, or S visa.
- I am not in the United States under the visa waiver program.
- If I am currently in J-1 status, I am not subject to a 2-year home country residency requirement.
- Schedule an appointment with an international student advisor. Be sure to bring:
- Completed Form I-539 found here (type answers and save as PDF)
- A credit card to pay I-901 fee (SEVIS fee) found here
- Current I-94 printout found here. If you entered the U.S. before May 2013, the card is likely stapled inside your passport
- Current, valid passport
- Current, valid visa stamp (inside passport, unless stamped in old passport)
- Evidence of financial support sufficient to meet expenses detailed on I-20
- Truthful written statement (type and save file to bring with you) 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.
- Check or money order (money order preferred) for $370 addressed to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
- 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.
You may print off this guide here: Change to F-1