CHANGE OF STATUS TO F-l (Within the United States)
Students must meet with an International Student Advisor to file a Change of Status (COS). There are two options:
OPTION 1: MAIL COS APPLICATION TO USCIS:
This option requires students to file a COS within the U.S. The processing time is approximately 4-8 months.
Simply obtaining the I-20 does not change a student’s status to F-1. Students must mail their COS application packet to USCIS and receive a Change of Status approval.
Depending on the student’s current status, enrollment at TSU prior to the Change of Status approval may be affected in the following ways:
Individuals on F-2 Status: F-2 status holders can register for classes’ part time but cannot receive any paid assistantships or on-campus employment work authorizations until the COS has been approved.
Individuals on B1 or B2 Status: Students cannot register for classes while the COS is pending.
Individuals on H-4, L-2, and R-2 Status:
Students can register for classes while the COS is pending but cannot receive any paid assistantships or on-campus work authorizations until the COS has been approved.
Individuals on H-1B Status: H-1B status holders can register for classes while the COS is pending but cannot receive any assistantships/funding or on-campus work authorizations until the COS is approved. In addition, as the student’s current status is dependent upon employment, they should maintain employment until the Change of Status has been approved. There is no grace period for H-1B status holders if terminated from their job. Even with a COS case pending, termination of employment can affect immigration status and the COS application.
Option 2: Travel and Re-enter the U.S. in F-1 Student Status
This option requires students to depart the U.S. and re-enter in F-1 student status. The student is required to:
- Depart the U.S. with an “Initial Attendance” I-20 issued from International Affairs Office
Pay the $200 SEVIS I-901 Fee
- Apply for F-1 visa at their U.S. embassy/consulate abroad (Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement)
- Re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status: This procedure automatically changes the student’s status to F-1 upon entry to the U.S. The length of this procedure varies depending upon the student’s departure date from the U.S. and the processing time for the F-1 visa at a U.S. embassy/consulate abroad. Applicants can register for classes and receive paid assistantships or on-campus employment immediately after re-entering the U.S. in F-1 status.
- Once the I-20 is issued, students cannot change the type of I-20 they receive unless there is a sufficient reason to do so. Processing time for the I-20 normally takes one week, when all the paper work has been submitted. Please contact the International Student Affairs Office for questions regarding the I-20 issuance.