Change of status to F-1 or J-1 is a process in which an individual changes from one non-immigrant status to another non-immigrant status. If you currently reside in the United States and wish to change your non-immigrant status to F-1 or J-I to participate in a Georgetown full-time program, please review the following information and contact an IS Advisor with any questions.
There are two ways to secure F-1 or J-1 status at Georgetown:
Option A: Travel
Individuals may opt to request an initial entry immigration document from Georgetown, travel outside the United States, apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, and reenter the United States with the F-1 or J-1 student documentation. Upon reentry, the individual effects the change of status.
This is generally the fastest and most efficient way to change status. Research waiting times and visa information at: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/wait-times.html/
**The Office of Global Services (OGS) recommends this option whenever possible.
Option B: Application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)
Individuals who do not wish to bear the travel expense and have no intention to travel in the foreseeable future may opt to submit a change of status application to USICS. This process allows an individual to change status while remaining in the United States. Please note that this option may delay the need to leave the country to acquire a student visa but does not replace the visa application process. All students must have an F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in the passport to enter the United States.
This process can take 3-8 months and individuals should not leave the United States until the change of status approval notice is received.
Determine your eligibility for change of status via a USCIS application
In general, an individual is able to submit a change of status application to USCIS if:
- S/he is maintaining the current status
- The current status does not prohibit a change of status application to USCIS
- The individual has been fully admitted to a Georgetown full-time program of study and has shown the required financial support
In general, an individual is not eligible to submit a change of status application to USICS if:
- The current period of authorized stay is expired
- The current period of authorized stay will expire more than 30 days prior to the Georgetown program start date
- The terms of the current immigration status have been violated
- Individuals admitted under the visa waiver program cannot change status to F-1 or J-1.
- Individuals admitted in tourist status should wait a reasonable amount of time before submitting a change of status application to F-1 or J-1 unless a prospective student notation has been made to the immigration document.
- A vocational student in M status cannot change to F-1 or J-1 status.
- Individuals whose legal status will expire prior to submission of the change of status application or whose status will expire more than 30 days prior to the Georgetown program start date may not change status to F-1 or J-1 status.
- Individuals in F-2 status, and those in any status which prohibits full-time study, should be aware that they cannot begin the program of study until USCIS has approved the change of status.
- Travel is strongly discouraged while a change of status application is pending.
File your change of status application
- Mail a paper application and supporting documents to USCIS
- View instructions and download Form I-539