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Change of Status » H-4 to F-1

Who Qualifies/Eligibility

A change of non-immigrant status from H-4 to F-1 may be requested when the applicant:

  1. Has been accepted for admission to UT Arlington and intendeds to be a full-time student.
  2. Can no longer maintain H-4 status because the principal H-1 has discontinued employment
  3. Is the child of an H-1 and is about to reach his/her 21st birthday. Change of status applications for H-4 children must be received by USCIS prior to the applicant's 21st birthday.

Consultation with an International Education Advisor during advising hours is recommended to verify eligibility.

Step One

To begin the process of changing status, turn in the following documents to the Office of International Education:

  1. USCIS form: I-539
  2. Change of Status form
  3. USCIS Fee: A money order or check for $455 payable to USCIS ($370 filing fee, $85 biometrics service fee). There is an additional $85 biometrics fee for each additional person included in the application.
  4. I-94: Copy of both sides of applicant's I-94.
  5. Passport: Copy of identity page, which indicates the expiration date, for both the applicant and the H-1 principal.
  6. Visa: Copy of H-4 visa and H-1 visa.
  7. Funding: It is necessary to show sufficient funds for the first year of study.
  8. Proof of Current Status:
    1. Copy of the I-797 (or I-171c), Approval Notice of the H-1 petition.
    2. Letter from the employer of the H-1 principal indicating that the H-1 is currently employed, or, if applicable, the reason and date of departure from employment.

Step Two

Normal processing time may take up to 7-10 business days. When the I-20 is ready, an International Education Advisor will contact you to set an appointment. At the appointment, you will:

  1. Sign your new SEVIS I-20.
  2. Provide any additional documentation requested by the International Education Advisor.
  3. Ask any questions you may have about the Change of Status process.
  4. Pay the SEVIS fee .

Step Three

Mail your application to USCIS for adjudication. Processing time at USCIS can be lengthy and unpredictable. Students will be notified when their documents have been returned.

Notes

  1. On-campus employment eligibility begins upon receipt of the approved change of status.
  2. If you leave the U.S. and intend to return in F-1 status, you must request an F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before you return.