Change of Status to F-1
In order to change your current non-immigrant status to F-1 status, you must file a Form I-539. USCIS suggests that “you file at least 45 days before your stay expires or as soon as you determine your need to change or extend status.” Please refer to Instructions for Form I-539 for details.
The filing fee is $370, and the biometrics service fee is $85. The required documents are as follows:
- A Form I-539 completed
- A Form I-94 copy (Get the most recent Form I-94)
- Passport copies (Photo ID page and current visa page)
- Financial Statements (Evidence of your ability to pay for your studies and support yourself and your dependents)
- A cover letter briefly explaining why you want to study before returning to your home country (Highly Recommended)
- An acceptance letter and a Form I-20 from POLY
- I-901 SEVIS fee ($350) payment receipt
Change of Status to F-1 for Dependents
You may include your spouse and your unmarried children under 21 years of age as co-applicants in your application. For each person, you must complete Form I-539A, which is part of Form I-539. “Each Form I-539A must include the signature of the individual applicant. If you are under 14 years of age, your parent or legal guardian may sign the application on your behalf.” Refer to Instructions for Form I-539 A for details.
- A Form I-539A completed
- A Form I-94 copy (Get most recent I-94)
- Passport copies (Photo ID page and Current Visa Page)
Making Payment for COS
The total fee is the sum of the filing fee ($370) and biometrics services fees ($85 per applicant). In other words, the cost is $370 plus $85 if you apply alone. If you have dependents, you must add $85 for each dependent.
A check or money order for the total amount must be payable to: U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Where to File?
Send by FedEx, UPS, or DHL to:
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
Extension of Your Current Status
“Even if you are approved for another status in the future, you will be required to file a Form I-539 to ‘bridge’ any gap that might arise between the expiration of your current status and validity of your future status.” Please refer to Instructions for Form I-539 for details.
It typically takes about 6 months for the USCIS to process an application for the Form I-539 for change of status to F-1. Therefore, after you file for change of status to F-1, you must file an extension of your current status at least 45 days before it expires or as soon as possible.
In order to file an extension of your status, you must complete the same form, Form I-539, and pay all applicable fees and submit all applicable documents. Pay close attention to the instructions of your current visa on Instructions for Form I-539 for directions.