How to Change Your Student Visa Status in the United States

By Published On: June 20th, 2024

Navigating the complexities of visa status changes is a significant milestone for international students and professionals in the United States. Whether you’re exploring new educational opportunities, career pathways, or personal endeavors, understanding the intricacies of changing your student visa status is important.

This comprehensive guide is designed to provide you with a clear roadmap and valuable insights into the process of transitioning from a student visa to another visa category in the U.S. We’ll delve into eligibility requirements, application procedures, common challenges, and the importance of seeking professional guidance.

By equipping yourself with this knowledge, you’ll be better prepared to see your visa status change journey with confidence and clarity.

Eligibility Criteria for Changing Visa Status.

Before initiating the process of changing your visa status in the United States, it’s essential to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The eligibility requirements may vary depending on the type of visa you are transitioning to, but some general criteria typically apply:

  1. Valid Status: You must currently hold a valid nonimmigrant visa status in the U.S. For example, if you are on an F-1 student visa and wish to change to an H-1B work visa, your F-1 status must be valid at the time of application.
  2. Intent and Purpose: Your intended change of status must align with the purpose for which your current visa was issued. For instance, if you are on an F-1 student visa, your intention to change to an H-1B work visa should be related to employment in your field of study or expertise.
  3. Eligible Visa Category: You must be eligible for the visa category to which you are applying for a change of status. Each visa category has specific requirements and criteria that must be met.
  4. No Violations: You should not have violated the terms of your current visa status, such as overstaying your authorized period or engaging in unauthorized employment.
  5. Financial Support: Depending on the visa category, you may need to demonstrate sufficient financial support to sustain yourself during the period of your new visa status. This can include evidence of employment, financial assets, or sponsorship.
  6. Supporting Documentation: You will be required to provide supporting documentation, such as a valid passport, Form I-20 (for F-1 students), Form DS-2019 (for J-1 exchange visitors), Form I-797 (for certain visa categories), and any other relevant forms or evidence as specified by USCIS.

Meeting these eligibility criteria is essential for a successful visa status change application. It’s advisable to thoroughly review the requirements specific to your desired visa category and seek guidance from immigration professionals or advisors if needed.

Types of Visa Status Changes.

In the United States, there are several types of visa status changes that individuals may pursue based on their circumstances and goals. Understanding these different types can help you determine the most appropriate path for your specific situation. Here are some common types of visa status changes:

  1. Change of Status within the Same Visa Category: This type of change involves transitioning from one nonimmigrant visa status to another within the same category. For example, an individual on an F-1 student visa may apply for a change of status to another educational program or institution.
  2. Change of Status to a Different Visa Category: This change involves transitioning from one nonimmigrant visa category to another, such as changing from an F-1 student visa to an H-1B work visa or from a tourist visa (B-2) to a student visa (F-1).
  3. Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident (Green Card): This process allows individuals to change their nonimmigrant status to that of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) while remaining in the United States. It is typically available to those eligible for immigrant visas based on family relationships, employment, refugee or asylum status, or other qualifying criteria.
  4. Extension of Stay: Individuals may apply to extend their current nonimmigrant status if they need additional time beyond their initial period of authorized stay. This is common for students, temporary workers, and visitors who require more time for educational, employment, or personal reasons.
  5. Change of Status Due to Extraordinary Circumstances: In rare cases, individuals may seek a change of status due to extraordinary circumstances, such as medical emergencies, humanitarian reasons, or significant changes in personal or family situations.

Each type of visa status change has specific requirements, application procedures, and implications for legal status in the United States. It’s important to carefully assess your eligibility, consult with immigration professionals or advisors, and follow the appropriate steps according to your desired visa status change.

Preparing Your Application.

When preparing your application for a visa status change in the United States, thoroughness and accuracy are key. Start by reviewing the specific requirements and documentation needed for your desired visa category. This may include completing the appropriate application forms, gathering supporting documents such as financial records, employment letters, and educational transcripts, and obtaining any necessary endorsements or certifications.

Additionally, ensure that your application package is well-organized and clearly presents your case for the visa status change. Include a cover letter outlining your intentions, a comprehensive list of documents enclosed, and any relevant explanations or clarifications. Double-check all forms for accuracy and completeness before submission, as errors or omissions can delay processing or result in a denial. Finally, consider consulting with immigration professionals or advisors for guidance throughout the application process to increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Submitting Your Application.

Submitting your application for a visa status change in the United States requires attention to detail and adherence to specific procedures. Begin by thoroughly reviewing and completing the necessary forms and gathering supporting documents. Ensure that your application package is organized according to the guidelines provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Choose the appropriate method of submission, whether it’s through mail, courier service, or electronic filing via USCIS’s online portal. Include the required fees and payment information with your application.

After submission, monitor your application status using USCIS’s tracking system and be prepared to respond to any requests for additional information or interviews promptly. By following these steps diligently, you can maximize the chances of a successful submission and expedite the processing of your visa status change application.

Waiting for Approval.

Once you’ve submitted your visa status change application in the United States, the waiting period for approval begins. This phase requires patience and proactive monitoring of your application’s status through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) tracking system. The duration of this waiting period can vary based on factors such as the visa category, current processing times, and any additional documentation requests from USCIS. Stay informed about USCIS announcements and policy updates to manage your expectations effectively.

Be prepared to respond promptly and accurately to any requests for further information or interviews. Seeking guidance from immigration professionals or advisors can also provide valuable support during this waiting period. Maintaining a positive outlook and staying proactive in your communication with USCIS can help streamline the approval process for your visa status change application.


Applying with the educational assistance of UCEDA SCHOOL offers numerous benefits to international students pursuing their academic and professional goals in the United States. Firstly, UCEDA SCHOOL provides comprehensive support and guidance throughout the application process, from selecting the right program to preparing the required documentation. Their experienced advisors and counselors ensure that students understand the visa requirements, deadlines, and procedures, minimizing the risk of errors or delays in their applications.

Furthermore, UCEDA SCHOOL’s educational expertise extends beyond the application phase. They offer quality English language programs and academic courses that not only enhance students’ language proficiency but also prepare them for success in their chosen fields. By partnering with UCEDA SCHOOL, students gain access to a network of resources, personalized assistance, and a supportive community that fosters their academic and professional growth in the United States.


Contact details:

Phone: +1 (702) 586-3131

WhatsApp: +1 (702) 613-6558

Email: info@ucedaenglishschool.com

Address: 2785 E Desert Inn Road, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89121 | 1900 S Jones Blvd, STE 100-A, Las Vegas, NV 89146.

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