Office of Admissions
International Student Services

Change to F1 Status


Change to F-1 Status While in the United States

With certain exceptions, a person who is a nonimmigrant visa holder already in the United States may apply for a change to F-1 status if he/she has maintained lawful nonimmigrant status up to the time the application is filed, AND the current nonimmigrant status of the applicant will continue to be valid up until the date that the new status is requested to begin.  Students who have current visas nearing the expiration date may process the change of status through a private immigration attorney or through the ELIS online system. Change of status to F1 visa may be denied if sufficient time is not remaining for the process to be completed before the current status expires.

Persons admitted to the United States in the following nonimmigrant categories may not change to F-1 status while in the United States:  C, D, K-1, K-2, S, TWOV, WT, WB.  There are also restrictions for J-1 and M-1 visa holders.

All family member dependents (spouse and unmarried children under age 21) who are requesting to change status in the same nonimmigrant F-2 category may be included with the student on one Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

Students requesting a change to F-1 status must be fully approved for admission to a program at UHV before an I-20 may be issued for the process. 

NOTICE:  Some programs at UHV will not support enrollment requirements for F-1 visa holders due to a majority of online class instruction throughout the program.  (Please see the UHV Program Guide found under International Student Admission heading in the left column of this page for programs that F-1 visa holders may choose from.)  Students who hold other nonimmigrant visas such as H4 and L2 may enroll in all UHV programs, but their visa may expire or circumstances change before their program of study ends.  Upon submission of the request to change their status to F-1 visa, a review of the student's program of study may result in a denial for the request if their program does not have the required face-to-face courses to properly maintain F-1 visa status.  However, several programs at UHV may be completed online from other states or countries outside the United States.

See Steps to Take under the Change to F1 Status heading in the left column of this page.