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Change of Visa Status

If you are applying for a change of status to F-1 or F-2, ISS facilitates the process by creating your new I-20. You can change your status while in the United States by filing an I-539 and other supporting documents with the USCIS Vermont Service Center. Wait times vary, but be prepared to wait for several months if you choose to change your immigration status within the U.S. You can also change your status by leaving the United States and applying for a new visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy. To speak with an advisor about changing your status, contact ISS to make an appointment or come to walk-in hours.

List of Documents Needed in Order to Apply for Change of Status Using an I-539

If you would like to change your status through travel, please see our New Visas and Visa Renewals section.

I'm changing from F-2 to F-1.
I'm changing from H-4 to F-1.
  • Original I-539 form
  • Original G-1145 form [pdf]
  • Copy of passport photo page
  • Copy of H-4 visa, if applicable
  • Copy of H-4 I-94 and I-797 approval notice
  • Copy  of H-1B visa, if applicable
  • Copy of I-797 (approval notice for H-1B status)
  • Copy of H-1B’s I-94
  • Financial certification [pdf]
  • I-901 Receipt of SEVIS Fee payment
  • $370 check payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Letter from you explaining why you want to change your status
  • Copy of new F-1 I-20 (request this using the I-20 Request Form)
I'm changing from J-2 to F-1.
I'm changing from H-1B to F-1.
I'm changing from F-1 to F-2.
  • Original I-539 form
  • Original G-1145 form [pdf]
  • Copy of your F-1 I-20
  • Copy of your passport photo page, F-1 visa, & I-94
  • Copy of Primary's F-1 I-20
  • Copy of Primary's passport photo page, F-1 visa, & I-94
  • Copy of proof of relationship (i.e. marriage certificate)
  • Financial certification [pdf]
  • $370 check payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Letter from you explaining why you want to change your status
  • Copy of new F-1 I-20 (request this using the I-20 Request Form)
I'm changing from J-1 to J-2.
  • Original I-539 form
  • Original G-1145 form [pdf]
  • Copy of your J-1 DS-2019
  • Copy of your passport photo page, J-1 visa, and I-94
  • Copy of Primary's J-1 DS-2019
  • Copy of Primary's passport photo page, J-1 visa, & I-94
  • Copy of proof of relationship (i.e. marriage certificate)
  • Financial certification [pdf]
  • $370 check payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Letter from you explaining why you want to change your status
  • Copy of your new J-2 DS-2019 (this DS-2019 will be created after an ISS advisor has reviewed the above documents)