There are two options to obtain F-1 visa status if someone resides in the United States in another non-immigrant visa category:
Option 1: Obtain F-1 student status through application to a U.S. embassy or consulate in your country or residence. This option requires a departure and re-entry to the U.S.
Option 2: Obtain F-1 student status through application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This option allows you to remain in the U.S.
For detailed instructions on each option, please click on the link.
An individual applying for a change of status (COS) to F1 student status must understand that an F-1 student is a non-immigrant pursuing a full course of study to achieve a specific educational objective. Once the educational objective has been attained, the U.S. government expects the F- 1 student to return to his or her residence abroad.
Change of status applications are the responsibility of the applicant. We recommend that individuals with complex situations consult a competent immigration attorney before proceeding.