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Due to the complicated nature and legal matters involved in changing from another non-immigrant status to F-1 student status, we will only assist individuals with select visa types who are working with a qualified immigration attorney.*

We will assist with a change of status from a current nonimmigrant status of F2, H4, or J2, to F-1 while in the United States if you meet the following conditions:

  • You were lawfully admitted to the United States with a nonimmigrant F2, H4, or J2 visa.
  • Your nonimmigrant status remains valid.
  • You have not violated the conditions of your status and you have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible.
  • You have not worked in the US without employment authorization.
  • You did not come to the US as a tourist, M1, J1, H1B, WT or WB visitor, any type of immigrant or refugee status, or C, D, K, or S non-immigrant.
  • You are working with a qualified immigration attorney.

Other visa type restrictions:

  • We will not assist with change of status from B1/B2 tourist to F1 student. Changing status from B1/B2 is especially challenging and rarely approved. Edmonds College no longer supports change of status from B1/B2 due to the complicated legal matters and processes involved and extremely high rate of denial.
  • We will not assist J1 and H1B non-immigrants with a change of status.
  • F-2 can only study part time until the application is approved.
  • The following nonimmigrants cannot change status to F-1 while in the United States:
  • M-1 students
  • C, D, K, and S nonimmigrants
  • J-1 physicians admitted to receive graduate medical education or training
  • J nonimmigrants subject to the 212(e) 2-year foreign residence requirement
  • WT and WB visitors admitted under the Visa Waiver Program.

Changing to F-1 status via travel and re-entry

Another way to apply for a change of status with USCIS is to depart the U.S. and use a Form I-20 to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate, preferably in your home country. A change of status does not give you a new visa in your passport. If you travel outside the US after changing status, you will need to apply for the visa in order to return and resume F-1 status.

Therefore, if you plan to travel outside the US before completing the academic program, you should consider returning home and applying for the visa now, rather than applying for change of status. If you receive the F-1 visa, you can return to the US to study in F-1 status. Please visit USCIS for more information. 

If you meet our criteria and are interested in applying to Edmonds College and you want to proceed with a change of status, please contact us at oip_admissions@edmonds.edu to discuss your options further.

*This handout is for information only and not intended to be legal advice. We recommend that you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. Edmonds College may issue the I-20 for change of status; however, we do not assist with preparing the I-539 or filing the petition.