Change of Status: F-2 to F-1
To change your status from F-2 to F-1, follow the procedure outlined below:
- Staple the following items together, in the order given:
A. Check for $290.00* made payable to the Department of Homeland Security. You should write your admission number (the number on your I-94 and I-20), name (if not already printed on your check), and “I-539, F2 to F1" on the check.
* Be sure to verify that the fee has not increased by checking the I-539 filing fee. Go to the USCIS homepage, click Immigration Forms on the top menu, then scroll down to I-539.
B. Pay SEVIS fee. You need the I-20 to pay this fee. (more information: USICE SEVIS fee page)
C. A letter from you, requesting the change of status and explaining your circumstances and plans. You should explain why you need to change your status to study; how full-time is important to your academic and /or career goals; verification that the change is not intended to prolong the stay of your family in the U.S. It is recommended that an advisor at OIS review your letter before you mail your packet to the USCIS.
D. Completed Form I-539: Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. (I-539 instructions)
F. Your Form I-20 (pages 1-3). Be sure to read page 2 and to sign on line 11 before you send it.
G. Financial documentation -- i.e. a scholarship letter, bank statement, affidavit of support, etc. as proof of your ability to finance the education costs required in section 8 of your I-20.
H. Original I-94 card (keep copies for your own records).
I. Photocopy of your spouse’s I-20 (front and back).
J. Photocopies of the pages in your passport which contain data on you, your photo, your passport’s expiration date, and the F-2 visa stamp.
K. (Optional) Complete G-1145 E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance to receive an e-mail or text message from USCIS when your application is accepted.
2. Keep a photocopy of your complete application for your records in case all or parts of your application get lost in the mail or at USCIS.
3. Mail the items listed above by Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested to:
For Express mail and courier deliveries (e.g. UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, etc):
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
For U.S. Postal Service (including US Postal Service Express mail):
P.O. Box 660166
Dallas, TX 75266
The post office will send you a receipt (green postcard) as proof that USCIS received your application. Keep the receipt until USCIS sends back your approved application and documents.
The USCIS has launched a system for checking the status of your pending application at a Service Center via the Internet.
4. When you receive your new I-94 with the change to F-1 status, you must bring the documents USCIS sent you to ISSS in order for your file to be updated.
Disclaimer: These materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal counsel.