Changing Your Status

If you're already in the US in an immigration status other than F-1 or J-1, you should change your status. You can either:

  • Travel outside the US and re-enter the country using your new visa.
  • File an application from within the United States to change status if eligible. This usually takes longer.

Changing to F-1 status

Generally, we recommend changing to F-1 status by traveling outside the US, getting an F-1 visa, and re-entering the US in F-1 status.

You can also apply for a status change through US Citizenship and Immigration Services from within the US if eligible, but you'll still have to get an F-1 visa if you travel abroad later.

More info >>


Your dependents can also request to change to F-2 status.

  1. First, you should fill out the dependent request form in ISSS Link.
  2. ISSS will create their I-20
  3. Then, they can either travel abroad and re-enter the US with an F-2 visa or apply for a status change through USCIS if eligible.

Changing to J-1 status

The process for changing to J-1 status is the same as the process for changing to F-1, but there are major differences between the two statuses.

You should compare F and J status carefully and schedule an appointment with your ISSS advisor before you start the application process.

Changing to another status

After you have finished your program, you can apply to change to another non-immigrant status, such as B-1. More info >>

You can also apply for an adjustment of status to an immigrant category. Green card process >>

You might want to get help from an immigration attorney.

ISSS advisors can answer your questions about how these applications might affect your F or J status, but they can't advise you about your rights or responsibilities once those applications have been processed.