From B-1/B-2 to F-1
According to the U.S. immigration regulations, visitors in B1/B2 status may not register for classes at an educational institution before they change their immigration status to F-1 or J-1. Therefore, if you are currently in B-1 or B-2 status and wish to pursue a full-time course of study, you must apply to change your status to F-1.
Once your change to F-1 has been approved, you are eligible to work on campus.
Steps to apply for the change of status from B-1 or B-2 to F-1:
- You must first be admitted to the university. If you have not yet applied for admission, contact the Office of International Education.
- After you are admitted to a program of study at IPFW, the OIE office will issue you a SEVIS I-20; the I-20 is a document that allows you to apply for F-1 status.
- After you have an I-20 document issued to you, contact the OIE office and make an appointment to see an International Student Advisor.
Please bring the following documents with you:
- Original, current financial documents verifying that you have adequate funds to cover your education and living expenses as a student for a minimum of 9 months (one academic year, fall, and spring semesters).
- Your original SEVIS I-20 document (received from the OIE office).
- A completed I-539 form (obtained from the OIE office). Also complete and attach the supplement if you have any dependents. As the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will send their response back to the address listed on the I-539, make sure that address is valid for at least the next 4-6 months.
- Questionnaire for applicant for change of status from B-1/B-2 visitor to F-1 student status. Please answer all these questions on a separate sheet of paper and include with the submission of completed Form I-539 and all other requested documentation.
- Your passport and dependents’ passports, showing the following pages: 1) photograph; 2) passport number; 3) passport expiration date; 4) B-1/B-2 visa stamp.
- Your original I-94 card and dependents’ I-94 cards. This is the small white card attached to your passport.
- A check or money order for $300, payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- SEVIS fees receipt (form I-797) or printout of online payment.
You will need to mail all of the necessary documents to:
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
P.O. Box 87765
Lincoln, NE 68501-7765
Expect to wait approximately 3-5 months for USCIS to process your application.
When you receive an answer from USCIS, please come to the OIE office with the following items:
OIE staff will make copies of your documents to add to your immigration file.
If you travel outside the United States after USCIS approves your change to F-1 status, you will need to apply for an F-1 visa to be stamped in your passport while you are overseas. To do so, you will need to contact our office to learn about the documents you need to take to the American Embassy or Consulate overseas, where you will apply for the F-1 visa.