Change of Status

What is a "Change of Status"?

A change of status is an authorization from USCIS to be in the United States for a new reason to engage in a new activity for new period of time. This authorization comes in the form of a new I-94.

IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS NOT A VISA. Even if you do a change of status application with USCIS and it is approved, you still need to get the appropriate VISA for your status!

OIE strongly advises students wanting to change their status to obtain the appropriate Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) and to travel back to their home country to apply and obtain their F-1 - getting the appropriate visa is always preferable to doing a change of status application in the United States!

Who is NOT eligible for a change of status?

  • You hold C,D,K,M-1,N,S,WT, or WB status.
  • You hold a J visa with a two-year home residency requirement.
  • You hold A or G status and do not have a State Department's recommendation
  • You hold B status and you entered the United States with the intent to go to school.

Who is eligible for a change of status?

  • You must be maintaining status and this lawful status may not expire more than 30 days before the program start date.
  • You cannot have filed or have a pending application for lawful permanent residence in the United States.
  • If you are a B visitor, you must have proof that this study was recreational (i.e. study in an English language program, a pottery class at the local community college, etc).
  • You have a permanent residence abroad.
  • You have plans to return to your home country after completing your education in the United States.

Required Documents

  • Completed Change of Status Decision Sheet from OIE
  • Form I-539
  • Form G-1145
  • Application to Change to F-1 Student Status (not available on-line)
  • Evidence of proof of current status
  • Check or Money Order for $290 USD payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Original Form I-94 or copy of passport stamp
  • Proof of Funding for the intended program of study
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Initial Attendance Form I-20 from Champlain College
  • Champlain College acceptance letter
  • Cover letter from the Assistant Director, International Student Services

Important Notes:

  • F-2/B-1/B-2 visa holders must have their change of status applications approved before the first day of classes.
  • F-2/B-1/B-2 may not study or work until after their change of status applications have been approved.

Step One: Sit Down and Talk with the Assistant Director, International Student Services at Champlain

  • Contact the Assistant Director, International Student Services at Champlainand make an appointment to determine your eligibility.
  • If you are eligible, you will be given an Application to Change to F-1 Student Status along with information on what documents to assemble.

Step Two: Complete the International Admissions Process and Be Accepted to Champlain College

  • Apply as an international student at Champlain College.
  • Obtain an acceptance letter from Champlain College.
  • Make sure that you are pre-registered for courses for the appropriate semester.

MPORTANT NOTE: You will not be given an Form I-20 until after Step Three in this process.

Step Three: Document Assembly

  • Complete the Application to Change to F-1 Student Status.
  • Complete Forms I-539 and G-1145.
  • Make copies of your passport photo page.
  • Make sure that you have the original I-94 card (if not, a copy of stamp in your passport).
  • Obtain financial documents to show that you have proof of funding for the intended program of study.
  • Gather together evidence of your status (i.e. time frame with places you have visited or business acitivities).
  • Copy of your Champlain College acceptance letter.

Step Four: Application Review with the Assistant Director, International Student Services at Champlain

  • Make an appointment with the Assistant Director, International Student Services at Champlain to go through your documents.
  • If all the documents are in order, the Assistant Director, International Student Services will issue you with an "Initial Attendance - Change of Status" Form I-20 and give you cover letter which should accompany your application.
  • The Assistant Director, International Student Services will give you instructions on how to pay your SEVIS fee and how to file the completed application.

Step Five: Pay the SEVIS fee and submit your application as instructed by the Assistant Director, International Student Services.

  • Pay your SEVIS fee and a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt in your application.
  • Submit your application on-line or by mail to USCIS.
  • Wait for USCIS response or approval.

Step Six: Approval from USCIS and Check in with the Assistant Director, International Student Services

  • If you are approved by USCIS for a change of status, please see the Assistant Director, International Student Services and have her photocopy your passport, new I-94 card, and Form I-20.
  • The Assistant Director, International Student Services will verify that you are enrolled full-time (12 credits) and will register you in SEVIS.
  • There will be a note on your file that you still do not have an F-1 visa. When you travel outside the United States, you will need to apply for and obtain your F-1 student visa in your home country BEFORE you can re-enter the United States.