Change to F-1 Student Status

Change to F-1 Student Status


Welcome to OGS, providing services for
international students and scholars at Northeastern University. Have you been
considering changing your current visa status to F-1 student status and want to
know more? Great let’s discuss the why and the how. You might be thinking why
would I want to change my visa status to F-1? Let’s answer that great question! F-1
benefits include a full time allowance for study and work authorization for
both during and after the completion of a degree program. If you are on a
dependent visa, this also means that your visa status will remain active as long
as you are studying while following the F-1 rules and regulations. To understand
better how to maintain your F-1 status, please visit the OGS website and watch
our video on “how to stay in status?” If this is something you are interested in
let’s now discuss the how. To start, there are two options to choose from. The
first option to change your status is through a process called consular
processing. In this option, you will need to apply for an F-1 visa outside of the
United States (typically in your home country) with the appropriate
documentation needed at a US consulate or embassy. To show proof of eligibility
to the Embassy or consulate, you will need to show an I-20 as proof of
sponsorship from a US school that is willing to sponsor your F-1 visa. This is
typically the faster of the two ways to change your visa status to F-1 and is
preferred by students who have a specific timeline for study in mind.
The other option is changing your status while inside the US. This process
involves sending specific documentation and information to USCIS to change your
status. This process will take several months to complete and is usually taken
by students who wish to maximize their current visa status opportunities.
ATTENTION: Before you start the change of status process within the US your
underlying visa status must remain valid until 30 days before the program starts.
Also, there are certain visa categories that are only able to change statuses
with consular processing. Here are some visa types or scenarios that would need
to do consular processing. M-1, C, D, K, WT and J-1 If you are considering the second option,
Please visit the OGS website for a separate video, “Changing to F-1 Status
within the US” for further details

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