Change of Status to F-1

Change of Status to F-1

Millions of people travel to the United States every year. They wish to learn more about American culture and see various landmarks. However, what happens when you travel to the U.S. just to visit, but later decide you would like to study to help improve your English? While on a tourist visa, you are able to study part time (less than 18 hours). However, tourist visa holders are only able to stay and study part time in the U.S. for a short amount of time. With only a short amount of time, many are not able to reach their English reading, listening, writing, or speaking goals, so they wish to extend their stay and study for a longer period of time. Students who wish to change their status will first need to see if they are valid to change their status. In general, you may apply to change your nonimmigrant status while remaining in the United States if: 

      You were lawfully admitted to the United States in a nonimmigrant status;

      Your nonimmigrant status remains valid;

      You have not violated the conditions of your status; and

      You have not committed any crimes or engaged in any other actions that would make you ineligible for change of status.

After you have decided you are eligible to change your status, you will need to apply and be accepted into a SEVP-certified school. To apply to the American English Language School’s ESL program, you will need to submit an AELS application along with copies of your passport, visa, high school diploma, and recent bank statement. 

AELS will check your documents, and when all of the documents have been reviewed, you will receive a payment link to pay your application processing fees. You will receive a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status within one week of making your payment. You will also need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. However, you may pay this fee to AELS, and they will make the payment on your behalf. 

When you have all of your documents ready, you will need to file a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. You can find detailed instructions to submit your Form I-539 on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. 

If you are interested in enrolling in an ESL course in the Los Angeles or Orange County area, visit our website American English Language School, or email

Tagged: Change of Status to F-1 in Los Angeles, Change of Status to F-1 in la

Published on May 12, 2023

A leading English language school accredited by the CEA (Commission on English Language Accreditation) and approved by SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) located in Los Angeles, California. Learn English in LA with our ESL classes, TOEFL preparation, and English speaking classes. Are you serious about improving your English? Join a class today!