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:

  • Has been accepted for admission to UT Arlington and intendeds to be a full-time student.
  • Can no longer maintain H-4 status because the principal H-1 has discontinued employment
  • 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. 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 $470 payable to USCIS for paper filing or $420 for filing online.
  • I-94: Copy of both sides of applicant's I-94.
  • Passport: Copy of identity page, which indicates the expiration date, for both the applicant and the H-1 principal.
  • Visa: Copy of H-4 visa and H-1 visa.
  • Funding: It is necessary to show sufficient funds for the first year of study.
  • 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.

Please allow up to 7 business days for processing. When the I-20 is ready, an International Education Advisor will email you an electronic copy of your I-20. After you receive the I-20, you will need to:

  • Print and sign your new I-20
  • Pay the SEVIS fee here.
  • Ask any questions you may have about the Change of Status process.

After you have gathered all of the required documents for the change of status application, the student is responsible for mailing the application to USCIS for adjudication. Processing time at USCIS can be lengthy and unpredictable. Please visit for forms, instructions and where to file.


  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.