Office of International Programs

Timely Filing of a Change of Status Application in the US

Special Notes about the timely filing for a change of status: 

  • An applicant for a change of status must be “in status” at the time he/she applies for the change.

  • A change of status application must be received by USCIS before your current period of previously authorized stay expires.

  • Your current status MUST remain valid up to the date which is 30 days before your NEW program start date.

  • If your current status is going to expire before 30 days prior to the start of your new program date you must apply to extend your CURRENT status, or you must apply for a BRIDGE STATUS such as a tourist so that you can maintain while your change to F-1 student request is pending.

    • That means that you may have two change of status applications pending at the same time and the cost could be quite expensive.
    • If your student status is not approved in time for your new program start date, we may need to defer your start date for school and you may need to continue extending your current status until you receive an answer. 

  • A typical change of status request is taking 12 to 15 months to receive an answer

  • Based on the August 9th, 2018 unlawful presence rules students could potentially accrue unlawful presence days if their change of status is denied and their current status has expired or their application to extend or obtain a "bridge" status has also been denied.
  • Given the high chance of denial and the amount of time it takes to receive an answer, we do not recommend that you change your status in the US. We recommend that you return home and apply for an F-1 student visa in your home country.