Change of Visa Status

 

Change of Visa Status is a process by which applicants may apply to change to another nonimmigrant status through USCIS while in the United States.

 

Types of Change of Visa Status Applicants

F-2 visa holders

  • NOT eligible to enroll in courses
  • NOT eligible for any kind of employment until change of status is approved

B-1/B-2 visa holders

  • NOT eligible to enroll in courses
  • NOT eligible for any kind of employment until change of status is approved

H-1B/H-4 visa holders

  • Eligible to enroll in courses
  • H-4 are NOT eligible for any kind of employment until change of status is approved

J-1/J-2 visa holders         

  • Eligible to enroll in courses before change of status is approved IF current J-1 status allows for enrollment
  • If the J-1/J-2 is subject to the 212(e) 2-year foreign residence requirement, she/he is NOT eligible for a change of status

 

Who is eligible for a Change of Visa Status?

Applicants can apply for a change of visa status if:

  • The applicant is currently in a valid visa status.
    • F-2 visa holders
      • I-20 program start date requested in the change of status application should be no later than the end of the applicant’s 60 day grace period
    • B-1/B-2 visa holders
      • Visa status must be valid until 30 days before the I-20 program start date requested in the change of status application
    • H-1B/H-4 visa holders
      • Visa status must be valid until 30 days before the I-20 program start date requested in the change of status application
    • J-1/J-2 visa holders
      • I-20 program start date requested in the change of status application should be no later than the end of the applicant’s 30 day grace period
  • The applicant must have been in their current visa status for at least 3 months prior to submitting a change of visa status application.
  • The applicant has been admitted to St. Cloud State University.

 

Who is NOT eligible for a Change of Visa Status?

Applicants CANNOT apply for a change of visa status if:

  • The applicant is an M-1 student, C, D, K, or S non-immigrant, J-1 non-immigrant subject to the 212(e) 2-year foreign residence requirement, or WT/WB visitor.  (Such applicants must leave the United States and apply for an F-1 visa from outside the country.)

 

Important Points to Remember

  • Applicants must allow 5 business days for the Center for International Studies to process their request.
  • Applicants are not eligible for any employment authorization prior to the approval of the change of visa status.
  • Applicants MUST remain in the United States while their change of visa status application is being adjudicated by USCIS.  If the applicant leaves the United States prior to adjudication, the application will be considered abandoned and the application will be denied.
  • If the applicant’s change of visa status is denied the applicant may be required to leave the United States on short notice.
  • Processing a change of visa status through USCIS can take at least 3 to 4 months depending on their current processing times.
  • Applicants applying for a change of visa status will receive the Academic & Cultural Sharing Scholarship upon receiving an approval notice via I-797A, Notice of Action, if eligible.
  • Applicants who have been approved for a change of visa status will be charged for the mandatory international health insurance upon receiving an approval notice via I-797A, Notice of Action, if eligible.
  • Upon receiving an approval notice via I-797A, Notice of Action, applicants will be required to review the contents of the online D2L International Student Orientation.
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