If you arrive in the United States on a B-1/B-2 travel visa, you may be able to switch to a F-1 student visa. The B-1/B-2 visa allows individuals to enter the U.S. for a short, specific amount of time if they are visiting for tourism or business purposes.
If you are an in the U.S. on a visitor visa and would like to study in the U.S., you can change to F-1 student status. To do this, you must have been accepted to study at an academic institution in the U.S. and fulfill all other requirements of the F-1 visa. Your visitor visa should also still be valid.
How to Change Status
- Change of Status in the U.S.
To change your status through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you will need to obtain Form I-120 from your SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) certified university or language program.
Next, you must pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. Then, you will need to submit Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, to the USCIS, and pay the fees for filing and biometrics.
After filing Form I-539, you will need to wait for a response from USCIS. In the meantime, you must ensure that your original B-1/B-2 visa is still valid.
- Consular Processing
You may apply for an F-1 visa through consular processing outside of the United States. Similar to adjusting status in the U.S., you will need to be accepted into a SEVP certified school prior to submitting your application. Next, you must pay the I-901 SEVIS fee.
After you pay this fee, your school will provide you with Form I-120. Then, you will need to apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for your visa to stay in the United States as a student. Depending on which embassy or consulate you go through, the exact next steps will differ. Normally, you will need to submit Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, pay the application fee, and schedule an interview. If your interview goes well, you will be granted F-1 student status.
Navigating the F-1 student visa process may seem difficult, but the Law Office of Keshab Raj Seadie is here to help. We will guide you in completing your application, prepare you for your visa interview, and ease any concerns you may have about your student visa along the way.