Change of Nonimmigrant to F-1

There are certain types of visas which allow to study in the United States, an F-1 student is a student who attends an academic institution in the U.S. while maintaining a full course load of study. A student who wishes to acquire the F-1 visa will receive a form I-20 issued by the institution. Some visas allow you to attend school while others do not, if you want to know if your current visa allows you to study please check at the end of this document. There are two ways for you to get a new non-immigrant F1 visa. For more information, visit the Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security below. (Change My Nonimmigrant Status)
Option 1:
Traveling back to your home country and apply for the visa at the US Embass
– This is the fastest way to get a visa.
– Costless for the visa application, except the travel expenses and cost for I-20.
– It could be risky for visa processing.
– Expenses for travel.
Option 2:
Application for a change of non-immigration status:
– You may stay in the United States during the processing time.
– Avoiding extra travel costs and visa application hassle.
– You must maintain your current visa until a new non-immigrant visa is approved.
– If you have a visa that will expire soon you will have to renew it.
– Processing time is very slow, which might last for 12 or more months.
– Additional fee payments for maintaining the status and change of status processing.
– Additional deposit of $450 will be required to pay for the school which will later be credited toward your tuition fee.
– You cannot leave U.S. while the application is pending
– There will be a risk of change of status application denial, which will require to depart from the US.
– Based on your current visa you may not be able to start studying until your application is approved

Depending on any condition, it is solely the applicant’s decision to choose any option above. You should consider you travel plans, expiration of I94 and visa change of status eligibility.

Who can apply for a change of status:

  • If your current visa permits for a new status
  • If you are maintaining your current visa

Ineligibility for a change of non-immigrant status:

  • If your authorized stay on I-94 has been expired
  • If you have violated your current and previous visa status
  • If you current visa prohibits for a new non-immigrant application

What do I need to apply:
To obtain the F-1 status, you must follow following instructions:

  1. Choose one of the options stated above
  2. Meet with an Admissions counselor and an advisor at International Student Office
  3. Get Accepted into Gulf Language School or North American University.
  4. Pay $450 of deposit fee (upon approval, the deposit will be credited toward the tuition fee. In case of visa denial, the school will refund full amount of $450 back to the student. If the visa is approved and the student decides either to transfer to another school or leave to the home country, the school will not refund the fee back).
  5. Get your I-20:
    • If you are leaving the U.S. to apply for the student visa in your home country (Option 1), the I-20 will be issued specifically for that condition. Please confirm with the advisor at the International Student Office.
    • If you are submitting for the change of status (Option 2), the I-20 will be issued for change of status reason. Thus, please confirm your decision.
  6. Allow us 10 business days to review your application and issue the I-20.
  7. You will be notified to pick up your I-20.

The school will provide you a general information about COS application process; however, the school will not submit the application to USCIS, we strongly suggest you consult with an attorney for this process.

A quick note to know:
If your application is pending after I-20 program start date, the student must notify the advisor at the International Student Office to defer the start date to the next available program start date.

who can study?