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.
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.
Your dependents can also request to change to F-2 status.
- First, you should fill out the dependent request form in ISSS Link.
- ISSS will create their I-20
- 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.
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.
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.