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Change of Status to F-1

Sometimes in order to study at Eastern University, a non-immigrant visa-holder must seek a change of visa status to F-1. If a person is accepted to study at Eastern, but does not currently have a visa that permits study, he or she must change visa status to F-1 in order to begin studies at Eastern. A change of status may take 60 to 90 days to be approved, and in some cases, the student may not start classes until approval. If a student’s current non-immigrant status permits study, but is expiring, he or she must change visa status to F-1 in order to continue study at Eastern.

The application to change status should be filed within 45 days of visa expiration. This is the process for filing a change of status (COS):
1. When an applicant on another non-immigrant visa is officially accepted to study at Eastern, he or she must complete the financial documentation required of all F-1 student applicants and pay a cash deposit before the I-20 can be issued for the COS application.
2. If a current student must file for COS because his or her non-immigrant visa is expiring, he or she must visit the DSO and begin the process at least 60 days in advance of visa expiration. The student will have to show that all bills have been paid to date and that he or she has sufficient financial support to continue studies in F-1 status.
3. The accepted applicant or current student should use the Statement of Financial Support Form to document resources.
4. In order to file for a change of status with USCIS, one must submit a Form I-539 with fee and accompanying documents. Follow carefully the I-539 application instructions. The application packet must include:

  • Form I-20 from Eastern University
  • Form I-539
  • Fee payment (See www.uscis.gov for updated information on immigration forms and filing fees.)
  • Acceptance letter to Eastern University
  • Original Form I-94
  • Evidence of financial capability
  • Photocopies of passport and visa
  • Additional evidence if requested by I-539 instructions

5. Make 2 sets of photocopies of all application documents, and give one set to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS). Keep the other set for your own records.
6. Send the I-539 application packet to:

USCIS Dallas Lockbox - Attn:I-539
PO Box 660166
Dallas, TX 75266

USCIS Dallas Lockbox - Attn:I-539
2501 S. State Hwy 121, Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

7. The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISSS) recommends including a Form G-1145 in order to get an email notification about your application.
8. Inform the DSO of any Requests for Evidence, and also of the results of the adjudication.
9. More information about the I-539 “Application to Change Non-Immigrant Status” can be found at www.uscis.gov.
10. OISSS recommends students use the services of an immigration attorney if they find the change of status procedure to be confusing or tedious. OISSS can recommend local attorneys.

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