Change of Status

To change your status, you must choose one of two methods:

Change of Status from Inside the U.S.
Change of Status by Traveling Outside of and Re-Entering the U.S.

If you are considering changing your current immigration status to a different immigration status, keep in mind that every immigration status has different rules and benefits. You may want to explore the rules and benefits of your current status as well as the one you are considering changing to (F-1 student/F-2 dependent, J-1 student/J-2 dependent, or Other Categories [ex. H-1B, E-2, etc.]) and visit with an ISS advisor during Immigration Advising Hours to discuss the benefits and consequences of changing your status.

ISS primarily advises students who are changing to an F or J category status. If you are planning on changing to a category other than F or J, you may visit with an ISS advisor for general information or you may consider contacting a qualified immigration attorney.

Change Your Status from Inside the U.S.

In order to change your status from inside the United States, you must submit a paper application and certain required documentation to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will determine the basis of your eligibility for your change of status request based on their review of your application and documents. Incomplete applications or applications missing documents may be returned or denied. If you have questions about your change of status application, contact ISS at iss@ku.edu.

It usually takes 3 to 6 months for a change of status application to be approved by USCIS.

ISS primarily advises students who are changing to an F or J category status. If you are planning on changing to a category other than F or J, you may visit with an ISS advisor for general information or you may consider contacting a qualified immigration attorney.

1. Gather all documentation for the application

I am in   status now. I plan to change to   status.

Prepare clear photocopies of all of the below listed documents except for the proof of finances to submit with your application. USCIS prefers to work with your orignial financial document.

  • Applicant's current F-1 I-20
  • Applicant’s current F-2 I-20 as a dependent
  • Current F-1 spouse or parent's I-20
  • Current F-1 spouse or parent's I-94
  • Current F-1 spouse or parent's visa used to enter the U.S. and any Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice obtained after entry, if applicable
  • Current F-1 spouse or parent's passport page(s) showing name, photo, date of birth and expiration date

CAUTION: If you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement, you are not eligible to change your status within the U.S. unless you are granted a waiver of this requirement!

  • Applicant J-1’s copy of 2 year home residency waiver, if applicable [or advisory opinion stating not subject to 212 (e)]
  • Applicant’s current J-1 DS-2019
  • Applicant’s J-2 2 year home residency waiver, if applicable [or advisory opinion-not subject to 212 (e)]
  • Applicant’s J-2 DS-2019 as a dependent
  • Current J-1 spouse or parent's I-94
  • Current J-1 spouse or parent's visa used to enter the U.S. and any Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice obtained after entry
  • Current J-1 spouse or parent's passport page(s) with name, photo, date of birth and expiration date
  • Current J-1 spouse or parent's DS-2019
  • Applicant’s H-1B Approval Notice – Form I-797A
  • Proof applicant H-1B is still employed e.g. letter from current employer verifying still in position or current pay stub
  • Current H-1B spouse or parent's Approval Notice Form I-797
  • Current H-1B spouse or parent's most recent I-94
    • Attached to the bottom of the I-797, or retrieved if current H-1B spouse or parent re-entered the U.S. after receiving the I-797 approval notice
  • Current H-1B spouse or parent's visa used to enter the U.S. and any Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice obtained after entry, if applicable
  • Current H-1B spouse or parent's passport page(s) showing name, photo, date of birth and expiration date
  • Proof current H-1B spouse or parent is still employed. e.g. current letter verifying H-1B is still employed in position as approved in I-797 or a current paystub

CAUTION: You must maintain your B-1 status until the change of status is approved!

You may need to also file an I-539 (with fee) for a B-1 extension if your current I-94 will expire before your change of status application is processed.

  • Personal letter and supportive evidence
    • The letter and evidence must show your intent to be a student changed after entering the U.S. and that your course of study has not yet begun

CAUTION: You must maintain your B-1 status until the change of status is approved!

You may need to also file an I-539 (with fee) for a B-1 extension if your current I-94 will expire before your change of status application is processed.

  • Personal letter and supportive evidence
    • The letter and evidence must show your intent to be a student changed after entering the U.S. and that your course of study has not yet begun
  • Principal E-2’s Approval Notice Form I-797
  • Proof principal E-2 is still employed
    • E.g. current letter verifying Principal E-2 is still employed in position as approved in I-797 or a current paystub
  • If Applicant is in a dependent E-2 status, also include:
    • Principal E-2 spouse or parent’s visa used to enter the U.S. and any Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice obtained after entry, if applicable
    • Principal E-2 spouse or parent’s most recent I-94
      • Attached to the bottom of the I-797, or retrieved if re-entered the U.S. after receiving the I-797 approval notice
    • Principal E-2 spouse or parent’s passport page(s) showing name, photo, date of birth and expiration date
  • Applicant’s passport page(s) with name, date of birth and expiration date
  • Applicant’s visa used to enter the U.S. and any Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice obtained after entry, if applicable
  • Applicant’s most recent I-94
  • Applicant's new F-1 I-20 (just pages 1 & 2; be sure to sign at the bottom of page 1)
    How to get your F-1 I-20
    • For students currently enrolled at KU
      1. Login to iHawk
      2. Click on 'ISS Services for All Students'
      3. Click on 'Change of Status to F-1 I-20 Request' and submit all forms in this e-form group.
      4. Forms 1 - 3 can be submitted in any order
      5. Form 4 becomes available only after forms 1 - 3 are submitted.
      6. Once you submit form 4, you must visit with an ISS immigration advisor in order to have your request reviewed and the change of status I-20 issued.
    • For new students
      1. Apply for and be admitted to KU. On your application, make sure you indicate what status you are in now and what status you are requesting to be in during your studies at KU
      2. After you have been admitted (and after you have accepted your admission if you are a graduate student), you will receive an email from ISS asking you to complete several forms in iHawk
      3. Once you have completed the forms in iHawk, an ISS Document Specialist will review the E-forms and may contact you for additional information
      4. After a final review of all of your E-forms, documents and additional information, your I-20 will be issued
  • Applicant's I-901 SEVIS fee receipt
  • Evidence of financial support covering the minimum listed on the new F-1 I-20
    • Past 4 months of bank statements or proof of a GTA/GRA/scholarship are acceptable (a letter from the bank with current balance is insufficient)
  • F-2 dependent I-20 (just pages 1 & 2; make sure F-1 signs at the bottom of page 1)
    How to get your F-2 I-20 if F-1 primary is a KU Student

    Your new primary F-1 (parent or spouse) must request to add you as their dependent F-2 by:

    1. Primary F-1 logs into their iHawk
    2. Primary F-1 clicks on ‘F-1 Student Services’ in the menu and then ‘I-20 Requests’
    3. Click on ‘Start a New Request’
    4. Click on ‘I-20 Add Dependents(s)'
    5. Complete the form. You will need to upload scans of the new F-2’s passport, and financial documentation that proves the F-1 can pay for the support of the F-2 in addition to the F-1’s academic expenses
    6. The F-1 must go to ISS to visit with an advisor after submitting the form and while the form is in the ‘Pending Review’ status
    7. An ISS advisor will create new I-20s for the primary F-1 and the new F-2
    How to get your F-2 I-20 if F-1 primary is not a KU Student
    • Contact the institution that issued the F-1 primary’s current I-20 for instructions on how to get an F-2 I-20.
  • New primary F-1 parent or spouse's updated I-20
  • New primary F-1 parent or spouse's I-94
  • New primary F-1 parent or spouse's visa used to enter the U.S. and any Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice obtained after entry
  • New primary F-1 parent or spouse's passport page(s) with name, date of birth and passport expiration
  • Proof of relationship between F-1 and F-2 (marriage or birth certificate; as appropriate)
  • Applicant’s new, original DS-2019; be sure to sign exchange visitor certification
  • I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Evidence of financial support covering at least the amount listed on the DS-2019
    • USCIS Form I-134 is recommended. Other evidence that may be sufficient: Past 4 months of bank statements (a letter from the bank is insufficient)
  • J-2 dependent DS-2019 (have J-1 sign at the bottom before submitting)
    How to get your J-2 DS-2019 if J-1 primary's DS-2019 was issued by KU

    Your new primary J-1 (parent or spouse) must request to add you as their dependent J-2 by:

    1. New primary J-1 logs in to their iHawk
    2. New primary J-1 clicks on ‘J-1 Student Services’ in the menu and then ‘DS-2019 Requests’
    3. Click on ‘Start a New Request’
    4. Click on ‘DS-2019 Add Dependents(s)’
    5. Complete the form. You will need to upload scans of the new J-2’s passport, and financial documentation that proves the J-1 can pay for the support of the J-2 in addition to the J-1’s academic expenses
    6. The J-1 must go to ISS to visit with an advisor after submitting the form and once the form is in the ‘Pending Review’ status
    7. An ISS advisor will create new DS-2019s for the primary J-1 and the new J-2
    How to get your J-2 DS-2019 if J-1 primary's DS-2019 was not issued by KU
    • Contact the institution that issued the J-1 primary’s current DS-2019 for instructions on how to get a J-2 DS-2019.
  • Evidence of financial support for both the J-1 and J-2 without the J-2 having to work
    • Past 4 months of bank statements or proof of a GTA/GRA/scholarship are acceptable (a letter from the bank with current balance is insufficient)
  • New primary J-1 parent or spouse’s updated DS-2019
  • New primary J-1 parent or spouse’s I-94 (front and back)
  • New primary J-1 parent or spouse’s visa used to enter the U.S. and any Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice obtained after entry
  • New primary J-1 parent or spouse’s passport page(s) showing photo, name, date of birth and expiration date
  • Proof of relationship between J-1 and J-2 (marriage or birth certificate; as appropriate)
  • Letter explaining interest in traveling, plans to go home and ties to home country (non-immigrant intent)
  • Evidence of financial support
    • Past 4 months of bank statements are acceptable (a letter from the bank with current balance is insufficient)
  • Evidence of return air ticket home
2. Apply to the USCIS for a change of status
  • Prepare the $370 Application Fee
    • Payable by check to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Include the check with your application materials.
  • Complete the Change of Status Application Form I-539
    • Download Form I-539 "Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status".
    • Type your responses on the form, then print the completed form and sign it.
  • Optional: Complete the Form G-1145 to get electronic notification that USCIS has received your application
    • Download Form G-1145
    • Type your responses on the form and include a printed copy with your application materials.
  • Optional: Make a 1 hour appointment with ISS to have your application reviewed
  • Include all prepared documentation as described above
  • Mail your Application, Fee, and Documents to USCIS
    • ISS suggests that you mail the application in a manner that guarantees proof of delivery (e.g. certified mail).
    • The mailing address depends on the postal carrier you choose:
For US Postal Service For Non-US Postal Service (such as UPS, Fed-Ex, etc.)
USCIS
P.O Box 660166
Dallas, TX 75266
USCIS
ATTN: I-539
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
3. After you submit your application
  • Check your status by clicking on the 'Services' tab and the 'Check your Case Status' link.
  • If you move or change your address while your change of status is still pending:
    • Notify USCIS.
    • The U.S. Post Office will NOT forward any correspondence from USCIS even if you have a mail forwarding request on file.
4. If your change of status is approved
  • You will be given a new I-94 for the new status and are eligible for all the benefits of the new status, but this does not change the visa in your passport.
  • It is okay to remain in the U.S. in the new status with a visa in your passport from your old category, but if you travel outside the U.S. you will have to apply for a new visa in the new category in order to return to the U.S. in the new category.
5. Report change of status approval to ISS
  • Bring proof of your change of status to ISS:
    • If you are a new student, upload the approval notice through your pre-arrival checklist in iHawk before orientation. If you have already completed your new student ISS checkin, bring your approval notice and visit with an ISS advisor.
    • If you are a currently enrolled (continuing) student, bring your approval notice and visit with an ISS advisor.

Change Your Status by Traveling and Re-Entering the U.S.

In order to change your status by traveling outside of the U.S. and re-entering, you must apply and interview for your new visa category at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside of the United States. The Consulate Officer at the embassy or consulate will consider issuing your requested visa stamp based on your visa application materials and your in-person interview.

The amount of time this method will take varies by embassy. Check the visa wait times at your embassy.

It is best to apply for your new visa in your home country, or in a country that accepts "third country national" applications if travel to your home country is not possible. Not all embassies and consulates will accept "third country national" applications, so make sure you check with the embassy where you plan to apply before you make your travel arrangements. Make sure you allow extra time for the visa application process, including sitting for the in-person interview and for any visa processing delays that you may encounter.

ISS primarily advises students who are changing to an F or J category status. If you are planning on changing to a category other than F or J, you may visit with an ISS advisor for general information or you may consider contacting a qualified immigration attorney.

1. Gather all documentation for the visa application

Each U.S. Embassy and Consulate has different requirements for the documentation you will be asked to present during your in-person interview. It is best to have all documentation prepared and with you at the interview, even if the Consulate Officer does not end up asking to review the document. Find the website for the embassy where you will be applying for a visa, and determine which documents your embassy will require you to present during the interview.

I am in   status now. I plan to apply for a   visa outside of the U.S.

If you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement, it is possible to change your status by traveling outside of and re-entering the U.S., however you will still be due to fulfill the requirement in the future.

Common documents you will be required to present at your visa interview:

  • Applicant’s passport page(s) showing name, photo, date of birth and expiration date
  • Confirmation page of the application form DS-160
  • A photograph of the applicant, taken within the last 6 months
  • Any other documents required by your specific embassy or consulate
  • F-1 I-20 (just pages 1 & 2; be sure to sign at the bottom of page 1)
    How to get your F-1 I-20
    • For students currently enrolled at KU
      1. Login to iHawk
      2. Click on 'ISS Services for All Students'
      3. Click on 'Change of Status to F-1 I-20 Request' and submit all forms in this e-form group.
      4. Forms 1 - 3 can be submitted in any order
      5. Form 4 becomes available only after forms 1 - 3 are submitted.
      6. Once you submit form 4, you must visit with an ISS immigration advisor in order to have your request reviewed and the change of status I-20 issued.
    • For new students
      1. Apply for and be admitted to KU. On your application, make sure you indicate what status you are in now and what status you are requesting to be in during your studies at KU
      2. After you have been admitted (and after you have accepted your admission if you are a graduate student), you will receive an email from ISS asking you to complete several forms in iHawk
      3. Once you have completed the forms in iHawk, an ISS Document Specialist will review the E-forms and may contact you for additional information
      4. After a final review of all of your E-forms, documents and additional informatino, your I-20 will be issued
  • I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Evidence of financial support: Past four months of bank statements or proof of GTA/GRA/scholarship are acceptable (a letter from the bank with current balance is insufficient)
  • F-2 dependent I-20 (just pages 1 & 2; make sure F-1 signs at the bottom of page 1)
    How to get your F-2 I-20 if F-1 primary is a KU Student

    Your new primary F-1 must request to add you as their depenent F-2 by:

    1. Primary F-1 logs in to their iHawk
    2. Primary F-1 clicks on ‘F-1 Student Services’ in the menu and then ‘I-20 Requests’
    3. Click on ‘Start a New Request’
    4. Click on ‘I-20 Add Dependents(s)'
    5. Complete the form. You will need to upload scans of the new F-2’s passport, and financial documentation that proves the F-1 can pay for the support of the F-2 in addition to the F-1’s academic expenses
    6. The F-1 (and F-2?) must go to ISS to visit with an advisor after submitting the form and while the form is in the ‘Pending Review’ status
    7. An ISS advisor will create new I-20s for the primary F-1 and the new F-2
    How to get your F-20 I-20 if F-1 primary is not a KU Student
    • Contact the institution that issued the F-1 primary’s current I-20 for instructions on how to get an F-2 I-20.
  • New primary F-1's updated I-20
  • New primary F-1's I-94
  • New primary F-1's visa
  • New primary F-1’s passport page(s) with name, date of birth and passport expiration
  • Proof of relationship between F-1 and F-2 (marriage or birth certificate; as appropriate)
  • New, original DS-2019; be sure to sign exchange visitor certification
  • I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Evidence of financial support. USCIS Form I-134 is recommended. Other evidence that may be sufficient: Past 4 months of bank statements (a letter from the bank is insufficient)
  • J-2 dependent DS-2019 (have J-1 sign at the bottom before submitting)
    How to get your J-2 DS-2019 if J-1 primary's DS-2019 was issued by KU

    Your new primary J-1 (parent or spouse) must request to add you as their dependent J-2 by:

    1. New primary J-1 logs in to their iHawk
    2. New primary J-1 clicks on ‘J-1 Student Services’ in the menu and then ‘DS-2019 Requests’
    3. Click on ‘Start a New Request’
    4. Click on ‘DS-2019 Add Dependents(s)’
    5. Complete the form. You will need to upload scans of the new J-2’s passport, and financial documentation that proves the J-1 can pay for the support of the J-2 in addition to the J-1’s academic expenses
    6. The J-1 must go to ISS to visit with an advisor after submitting the form and once the form is in the ‘Pending Review’ status
    7. An ISS advisor will create new DS-2019s for the primary J-1 and the new J-2
    How to get your J-2 DS-2019 if J-1 primary's DS-2019 was not issued by KU
    • Contact the institution that issued the J-1 primary’s current DS-2019 for instructions on how to get a J-2 DS-2019.
  • Evidence of financial support for both the J-1 and J-2 without the J-2 having to work
    • Past 4 months of bank statements or proof of a GTA/GRA/scholarship are acceptable (a letter from the bank with current balance is insufficient)
  • New primary J-1 parent or spouse’s updated DS-2019
  • New primary J-1 parent or spouse’s I-94 (front and back)
  • New primary J-1 parent or spouse’s visa used to enter the U.S. and any Change of Status I-797 Approval Notice obtained after entry
  • New primary J-1 parent or spouse’s passport page(s) showing photo, name, date of birth and expiration date
  • Proof of relationship between J-1 and J-2 (marriage or birth certificate; as appropriate)
  • Letter-explaining interest in traveling, plans to go home and ties to home country (non-immigrant intent)
  • Evidence of financial support- Past 4 months of bank statements are acceptable (a letter from the bank with current balance is insufficient)
  • Evidence of return air ticket home

   2. Travel outside of the U.S.

3. Apply for your visa interview
  • Complete the DS-160 online visa application.
  • Print and keep the DS-160 barcode (confirmation) page.
  • Find the embassy or consulate where you intend to apply for your visa.
  • Follow the embassy's online instructions for scheduling a visa interview and paying the visa fee.
  • Consult the embassy or consulate where you will apply as to what materials are required for your interview.

   4. Attend your visa interview

   5. Enter the U.S. with the new visa and any other applicable documents for the new category

6. Report your new status to ISS

Bring proof of your change/new status to ISS:

  • If you are a new student, upload the most recent entry I-94 in the new status through your pre-arrival checklist in iHawk before orientation.
  • If you are a currently enrolled (continuing) student, bring your new I-94 in the new status and visit with an ISS advisor.

Presidential Executive Order Update & Information
 
 


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