Change of Status application and checklist

General information about change of status

At this time the UMass Dartmouth International Student & Scholar Center assists with change of status applications to F-1/F-2 for new or current UMass Dartmouth international students and their dependents. 

From time to time a current student may have a reason to change status from F-1 or F-2 to a different visa category, and we will do our best to advise you.  Please contact the ISSC ( for advice on the best options before proceeding with an application.

The information below will help you prepare for an application to U.S. CIS for change of status to F-1 or F-2. The checklist has more detailed information by visa class about additional documents required for a change of status to F-1 and F-2, in addition to the steps outlined on the form.

Please Note:  If you have been dismissed from the University for any reason, you may not be eligible for change of status through UMass Dartmouth.  Please consult with the ISSC before proceeding.

Please consider the following when applying for a Change of Status:

  • Visitors who entered on a “visa waiver” are not eligible to study, extend their status, or to change status in the U.S. In this case it is best to travel outside the U.S., obtain an F1 visa, and reenter as an F1.
  • The application may take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to be approved or denied. You are able to stay in the U.S. while USCIS is considering your application. You may begin study only if your current visa type permits it.

Application procedures and materials

There are two methods for changing your visa status in the U.S.         

  • Applying to U.S. CIS for change of status by submitting a paper application (I-539 Application to Extend/Change Immigrant Status) through the U.S. Postal Service.  Below is a link to the ISSC checklist and ISSC application form for Change of Status:

Change of Status by Mail 

  • Leaving the U.S. and returning in a different status.  Below is a link to the ISSC checklist and ISSC application form
    to help you prepare your materials for ISSC review:

Change of Status By Re-entry to the U.S.  

Important to Know

Once a decision has been made regarding the request for change of status, the student's SEVIS record will be annotated and the student will receive a decision in writing from U.S. CIS. The student must bring the documents to the International Student & Scholar Center for copying and to review the decision. Please email to meet with the Director or a designated staff person.

It is very important to know the regulations for F1 or F2 if you are granted a change of status.

Please be sure to check with the International Student & Scholar Center staff if you do not know the regulations or are unsure. We will expect you to attend an Orientation. Ultimately you are responsible for maintaining your status.

updated 02/20/14