Center for International Education

Change to F1 Status

How Can I Change My Visa Type to F1 ?

If you are currently in the U.S. on a different visa status and want to change to the F1 status, there are two different ways that you can change to the F1 visa. Our office will meet with you to discuss your particular situation, help advise on which option would be best for you, and help you through the application process. This packet provides detailed information about how to change to the F1 status, and the important immigration regulations that you need to know.

Steps to Changing to F1

1. Review our Change of Status Packet. We outline the two options that you have on how to change to the F1, and the pros and cons of each. 

  • Option 1-Travel Option. This is the fastest option, and is the traditional way most students enter the U.S. to study on a F1 visa. You will apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate (which are only located outside the U.S.), and enter the U.S. using the F-1 visa. 

  • Option 2-Non-Travel Option (This is called “Change of Status”). This is a good option if you aren't in a hurry to change to F1. With this option, you will submit all documents to USCIS and will gain the F1 visa status; however, you will not receive the visa stamp. The visas are only issued outside the U.S. at a U.S. Consulate.

2. After reviewing the packet, you should write down your remaining questions.

3. Contact the Center for International Education at to discuss your situation and get your questions answered.

4. After deciding which option is best, you will put all application materials together and complete the next steps needed. The Change of Status packet includes a list of the application materials.

Additional Resources