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Changing F-1 Status


Changing your F-1 Status

In order to be eligible for a Change of status, COS, you must qualify for a Form I‐20, be
maintaining your current status lawfully and have had a change of plans to F‐1 status after your
arrival in the United Status. Following your acceptance to CCM and issuance of Form I‐20 to,
the following must be submitted to the USCIS Service Center:


• A completed Application to extend/change nonimmigrant status FORM‐I539 Download
PDF
• The $290.00 FORM I‐539 fee
• CCM Form I‐20
• Proof of payment of the $200 SEVIS I‐901 fee
• Form I‐94 photocopy
• Copies of passport ID page, immigration status documents, and visa stamp
• Photocopy of Affidavit of Support FORM I‐134

Mail your application to USCIS Service Center:

USCIS Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Weldon Street
St. Albans, VT 05479

As soon as the USCIS begins processing your application, they will send you a Notice of Action
NOE. This is the receipt which informs you that your application has been received and is being
processed. The Notice of Action will have an “Application Receipt Number”. With the receipt
number you will be able to check on the status of your case. Simply go to USCIS website to view your case status.


To apply for a COS, a nonimmigrant applies to the USCIS, in St. Albans, VT. It is the USCIS, not CCM who will make the decision on the change of status application. In other words, a person may qualify for issuance of Form I‐20 and F‐1 status, however, the COS application may not be approved. The USCIS adjudication officers who is reviewing the COS application may base their decision on the applicant’s ability to justify and demonstrate (through documentation) that their change of intent occurred after they arrived in the United States. Applicant’s who have a B‐2 visa bearing the notation “Prospective Student,” may be able to obtain F‐1 status through a COS the most easily.


Restrictions on Changing to F‐1 Status


Certain nonimmigrant’s are not permitted to change status to F‐1 while in the United States
They may be eligible for F‐1 status, but are required to apply for the F‐1 visa abroad.

The following visa classifications are not permitted to change to F‐1 status while in the United
States
• M‐1
• C, D, K
• J nonimmigrant’s subject to the 2 year foreign residency requirement
• WT and WB visitors admitted under Visa Waiver Programs


Applicants pending adjudication of COS to F‐1 status are required to start attending school
except in the case of a nonimmigrant changing to F‐1 from a B‐1, B‐2, or F‐2 visa. These three
nonimmigrant statuses must have the change of status petition approved prior to enrolling.

Change of Status (COS) Denials

In some cases, your request for a COS may be denied. If so, this may require that you depart
the United States on very short notice.