Sometimes when you are visiting the United States, you decide that you would like to change the purpose of your visit. Maybe you decide that instead of simply visiting, you want to study instead. If you decide to change your status when you are visiting, we can help! You can apply to change your nonimmigrant status while you are visiting, so you do not even have to return to your home country. You can apply to change your status if:
You were lawfully admitted to the United States with a nonimmigrant visa
Your nonimmigrant status remains valid
You have not violated the conditions of your status, and
You have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible
You must maintain a valid nonimmigrant status while also meeting the requirements for the status you are trying to change to. USCIS will notify you if you are approved. Only when they notify you will your status be changed; do not assume that your request to change your status will automatically be approved.
If you meet the requirements, the first thing you need to do is find the U.S Student and Exchange Visitor Program certified school you intend to study at, and apply. After you apply, you will receive an acceptance letter and an I-20 Form. You will also need to pay theI-901 SEVIS fee. Then, you will need to file a Form I-539 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When planning to change your visa, you need to also make sure that you apply at least 30 days before your visa expiration date.
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