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 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by creating an online account and submitting the following documents to USCIS:

  • USCIS Form I-539 with $370.00 processing fee
  • 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 on which the student initially entered the U.S. was appropriate at that time and why new status is needed
  • Printed version of current Form I-94 electronic record, www.cbp.gov/i94 
  • 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 $350 SEVIS I-901 fee. For current information, instructions, and fee payment procedures, visit the website: www.fmjfee.com.

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 nine to 12 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: 5/10/22