Change of Status

Students who are currently in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and want to study full-time can apply to Harper College for a Form I-20. For additional information, please read the international student application requirements at this link on our website.

After the student has been accepted by Harper College, they must then request a "change of status" to F-1 (and possibly an extension of the current status) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by submitting the following documents to USCIS:

  • USCIS Form I-539 with $370.00 processing fee. The Form I-539 should be downloaded from the USCIS web site
  • USCIS Form I-539A with $85.00 fee for biometrics
  • Copies of bank verification
  • Copy of the identification page of the passport
  • A letter explaining that the visa which the student initially entered on was appropriate at that time and why new status is needed.
  • Printed version of current Form I-94 electronic record, 
  • Original Form I-20, signed and dated
  • Proof of SEVIS I-901 fee payment (See below)

A SEVIS I-901 fee payment is required. Before a student can apply for an F-1 visa or a change of status, he/she must make arrangements to pay the $200 SEVIS fee. For current information, instructions, and fee payment procedures, visit the website:

USCIS officers strictly review each request for a change of non-immigrant status. There is no guarantee that the request will be approved. You may discuss your situation with the International Student Coordinator and/or you may seek legal advice from an attorney who understands F1 student status. You must allow seven to nine months for approval of a change of status request.

For the most up-to-date information regarding a request to change status to F-1 within the United States, please refer to this USCIS website link.

Last Updated: 8/19/21