Change of Status from an J-1 Visa to an F-1 Visa

Can I apply for a change of status from J-1 to F-1?


A nonimmigrant present in the United States on J-1 Visa status can change his or her status to F-1 student status in one of two ways.  You can either travel outside of the United States then reenter in F-1 status, or you can submit an application with USCIS requesting a Change of Status.  Immigration law is complex and is constantly revised.  For help in changing your status to an F visa, please feel free to call or email our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys.  [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]


Can I travel outside the U.S. after my J-1 expires?


If you are planning on traveling outside of the United States after your J-1 visa status expires, you may re-enter the U.S. in F-1 student status after following the procedure to obtain such status.

    1. Obtain proper documentation for the new status – this includes obtaining a SEVIS Form I-20 from your prospective school
    2. Travel outside of the United States to eliminate your current visa status
    3. Apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the new classification (F-1)


  • Enter the United States with the new visa and any other applicable documents for the new category


How do I submit an application for a change of status with USCIS?


If you want to change your status from J-1 to F-1 and you do not wish to leave the United States, you are able to submit a Change of Status application with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

When submitting a Change of Status application with USCIS it is highly recommended to hire a knowledgeable U.S. immigration attorney who has experience with Change of Status applications.  If a Change of Status application is denied after your Departure-Arrival Record or J-1 visa expires, you risk overstaying your status and this could result in denial or other problems when requesting future immigration benefits.  This does not change the actual visa in your passport.  You may remain in the U.S. in the new status with a visa from your old category but if you travel outside the U.S. you will have to apply for a new visa in the new category in order to return to the U.S. to continue in the new category.

Our attorneys are experienced immigration lawyers who have successfully completed many Change of Status applications.   Call or email for your free initial consultation today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]

Comments are closed.