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There are two ways that individuals in the United States in a non-immigrant status may change to a different immigration status. They may:
USCIS reviews applications for change of status based on an applicant's ability to document and justify a change of intent after arrival to the United States. Applications are approved at the discretion of the USCIS adjudicator.
Please note the applicant's current non-immigrant status must be valid at the time the application is received at USCIS and that the current status will continue to be valid up until the date that the new status is requested to begin. If USCIS determines that the change would be approved more than 30 days in advance of the program start date, there is a chance the application could be denied. It is recommended that individuals contact an ISS advisor to discuss their eligibility to apply for change of status and the timing of the application.
ISS recommends students use ELIS (The USCIS Electronic Immigration System) to file the Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
Along with the Basic Documents listed above, applicants must provide additional documentation specific to their change of status request:
Change of Status from F2 to F1
Applicant must be accepted to RIT before filing the change of status application.
Applicant may not begin studies until the application is approved.
Change of Status from F1 to F2
Applicants must maintain their F1 immigration status (remain a full-time student) until the application is approved.
Once the application is approved, all coursework and employment must immediately cease.
Change of Status from H4 to F1
Applicants must be accepted to RIT before filing the change of status application.
Applicants may enroll in classes in H4 status while the application is pending.
Change of Status from H-1 to F-1
Applicants must be accepted to RIT before filing a change of status application.
Applicants may enroll in classes in H1 status while the application is pending.
Changing Status from B-1 or B-2
Applications for change of status from B-1 or B-2 to F-1 made by individuals who have either already applied to US schools from abroad or who apply for a change of status shortly after entry to the United States are routinely denied. However, if the B-2 visa is marked prospective student, the change of status may be approved. The F-1 status must be approved before commencement of study is permitted.