Some students may be able to apply from their current visa status to a F-1 student status while in the U.S.
There are two ways student can obtain a new nonimmigrant status
- Students can leave the U.S., apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate, and reenter the U.S. or
- Students can remain in the U.S. and apply for a change your status through the U. S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Leaving the U.S. to obtain F-1 visa status
- Advantage – Obtain the F-1 visa status is faster.
- Disadvantage - There is the possibility of visa processing delay at the embassy / consulant office as well as the expense of travel.
Advantages and Disadvantages of applying through USCIS:
- Advantage - Depending on your current visa status you may be able to continuing taking some courses.
- Some visa status does not allow you take any course in your degree program while the application is pending with USCIS.
- There is no way expedite the application at USCIS.
- You are not permitted study as an F-1 student until the F-1 application to USCIS is approved.
- F-1 benefits are not applicable until application is approved. Such benefits include time counted for curricular practical training (CPT)/internship, and Optional Practical training (OPT).
- Must remain in the U.S. while application is pending.
- Once application is approved, once you leave the U.S. you will need to obtain the F-1 visa stamp before re-entering.
- Must be eligible for a change of status.
- Must be admitted to CSUSB.
- Cannot have violated current status, nor can your current status be expired.
- Individuals in J status who are subject to the two-year home-country residence requirement cannot do a change of status within the U.S.
- Persons admitted under the Visa Waiver Program (marked 'W/T' or 'W/B' on the I-94) cannot change nonimmigrant status.
- A vocational student in M status cannot change to F status.
- Make an appointment with The Immigration Specialist to evaluate your case.
- Submit a change of status case request to CISPs at https://www.csusb.edu/cisp/online-services
- Remain in the U.S. and maintain the requirements of your current status.
More details on changes status to an F-1 visa can be found at the Study in the States website at https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/complete/change-of-status.