Change of Status: H-1 to F-1

Who Qualifies/Eligibility

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

  1. Makes the decision to discontinue temporary employment and to participate in full-time student status.
  2. Is maintaining H-1 status or less than 10 days have lapsed since separation from employment.
  3. Has been admitted to UT Arlington.

Consultation with an International Education Advisor during advising hours is recommended to verify eligibility. To schedule an appointment for immigration advising, please click on the button below:

Immigration Advising

Follow the steps below

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

  • USCIS form: I-539
  • Change of Status form
  • 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.
  • I-94: Copy of both sides of the I-94 for the applicant and any dependent(s).
  • Passport: Copy of identity page, showing the expiration date for the applicant and any dependent(s).
  • Visa: Copy of current visa page for the applicant and any dependent(s).
  • Funding: It is necessary to show sufficient funds for one year of F-1 expenses, plus additional dependent expenses (if applicable).
  • 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 indicating the reason and date of departure from employment.

Please allow up to 7 business days for processing. 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.

After the appointment, the International Education Advisor will mail the Change of Status application to USCIS for adjudication. Processing time at USCIS can be lengthy and unpredictable. Students will be notified when their documents have been returned.


  1. USCIS allows only 10 days from the day of separation of employment to either file a change of status application or leave the U.S. If the 10-day period has already lapsed, a change to F-1 status can only be accomplished by leaving the U.S., applying for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate and returning as an F-1 student.
  2. Applicants may enroll at UT Arlington while a change of status is pending.
  3. Dependents in H-4 status do not need to file a separate application, but must be noted on an addendum to the Form I-539.
  4. On-campus employment eligibility begins upon receipt of the approved change of status.
  5. 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.