Please review the USCIS policy on Filing Bridge Applications during a change of status to F-1.

In order to be eligible for a change of status (COS) you must qualify for the Form I‐20 and be maintaining your current status. If your current nonimmigrant status will expire more than 30 days before your F-1 program start date you will need to “Bridge the gap” and file Form I-539 to request an extension to your current status or change to another status.

Following your acceptance to CCM and issuance of the Form I‐20, the following must be submitted to the USCIS Service Center:

  • A completed Application to extend/change nonimmigrant status FORM‐I539 Download PDF
  • The I‐539 filing fee
  • CCM Form I‐20
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS I‐901 fee
  • Form I‐94 photocopy
  • Copies of passport and visa stamp
  • Original CCM Agreement of International Support and supporting financial documents

Mail your application to USCIS Service Center:

(U.S. Postal Service)
PO Box 660921
Dallas, TX 75266

 

As soon as the USCIS begins processing your application, they will send you a Notice of Action

NOTE:  This is the receipt which informs you that your application has been received and is being processed. The Notice of Action will have an “Application Receipt Number”. With the receipt number you will be able to check on the status of your case.

 

An application to apply for a COS is submitted to the USCIS. It is the USCIS, not CCM who will make the decision on the change of status application. In other words, a person may qualify for issuance of the Form I‐20 and F‐1 status, but the COS application may not be approved. The USCIS adjudication officers who is reviewing the COS application may base their decision on the applicant’s ability to justify and demonstrate (through documentation) that their change of intent occurred after they arrived in the United States. Applicant’s who have a B‐2 visa bearing the notation “Prospective Student,” may be able to obtain F‐1 status through a COS the most easily.

You will need to continue to check the USCIS processing time while your COS is pending to determine if you need to a file a 2nd request to extend your nonimmigrant status.

Restrictions on Changing to F‐1 Status

Certain nonimmigrant’s are not permitted to change to F‐1 status while in the United States. The following visa classifications are not permitted to change to F‐1 status while in the United States:

  • M‐1
  • C, D, K
  • J nonimmigrant’s subject to the 2 year foreign residency requirement
  • WT and WB visitors admitted under Visa Waiver Programs

Note: B‐1, B‐2, or F‐2 visas are nonimmigrant statuses that must have the change of status petition approved prior to enrolling for classes.

Change of Status (COS) Denials

A change of status is not guaranteed.  It is suggested that you consult an immigration lawyer to assist you in this process. In some cases, your request for a COS may be denied. If so, this may require that you depart the United States on very short notice.