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    Change to F-1 Status

    There are two ways to obtain F-1 status: by entering the country with an F-1 visa and an I-20 issued for initial attendance, or by applying for a change of status within the United States. If you are considering a change to F-1 status, contact an advisor to determine which option is best for you. Students are eligible to apply for a change of status to F-1 within the US if:

    • You currently hold a valid non-immigrant status (except visa types listed below)
    • You have been admitted to Hamline University

    Students are not eligible for a change of status to F-1 if:

    • You hold a C, D, K or M visa
    • You are a visitor with WT or WB status (Visa Waiver Program)
    • You hold a J-1 or J-2 visa and are subject to the 2-year home residency requirement
    • You are a non-immigrant who overstayed or violated your status

    Limitations:

    • B-1/B-2 visitors are not permitted to enroll or attend classes until the F-1 status change has been approved
    • F-2 visa holders may not enroll in a degree program until the F-1 status change has been approved
    • Timing of change of status applications are sensitive; discuss your plans with the GEC. In some cases you will need to have documents ready to submit approximately 3 months prior to the start of the term for which you are applying.

    The GEC can assist with your change of status application. The following documents are required. After obtaining all documents listed below, schedule an appointment with us to review your documents prior to submitting the application to USCIS:

    • Letter from the student explaining the circumstances leading to the change of status
    • Letter of acceptance from Hamline University
    • Original financial documents indicating availability of funds as required by the I-20 (must meet Requirements for Financial Documents)
    • Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status: see Instructions for Form I-539)
    • Copy of passport (with extension page, if applicable)
    • Copy of US visa
    • Original I-94 card and I-94 cards of any dependents changing to F-2 status (if applicable)
    • Check or money order for $370 payable to Department of Homeland Security
    • If you currently hold A or G visa status, form I-566 must also be completed and properly endorsed by the foreign mission to the US and the Department of State
    • Optional: Form G-1145 (E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance)

    After your appointment, we will provide you with other necessary documents to be included in your application packet:

    • Original I-20 issued from Hamline University (I-20 should state: Initial Attendance - Change of Status requested)
    • You will need the new original I-20 in order to pay the SEVIS fee. A copy of the SEVIS fee receipt must be included with your change of status application (pay the SEVIS fee online www.FMJfee.com after receiving the initial attendance I-20)

    You must mail ALL DOCUMENTS LISTED ABOVE to US Citizenship & Immigration Services. Failure to include any of the required documents may result in a delay of application processing.

    For US Postal Service, send documents to:
    USCIS
    P.O. Box 660166
    Dallas, TX 75266

    For Express mail and courier deliveries (including UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, etc.), send documents to:
    USCIS
    ATTN: I-539
    2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
    Suite 400
    Lewisville, TX 75067

    You will receive a receipt from USCIS within 2-3 weeks. It may take many months for USCIS to make a final decision. You may track your application status online: www.uscis.gov.

    If your application is approved, please bring your change of status notification to the GEC immediately so that we may update your file.