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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. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for change of status to F-1 or F-2.  The checklist, as well as the links to the right, have 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 F-1 visa, and reenter as an F-1.
  • 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 USCIS for change of status by submitting a paper application (I-539 Application to Extend/Change Immigrant Status) through the U.S. Postal Service.  Please note that the Form I-539 filing fee has increased to $370 as of 12/23/2016. Below is a link to the ISSC checklist and ISSC application form for Change of Status: 
  • 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. (PDF)

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 USCIS.  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 F-1 or F-2 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.

More information

The section below contains links to documents with information on additional documents required to submit a change of status application for each of the visa types.

Please note

J exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year home requirement may change status only through travel, by leaving the U.S. and re-entering in the new status.