In order to change status while in the U.S. from a temporary specialty worker (H-1B) or worker dependent (H-4) to a student (F-1) status you will need to be admitted to a full-time academic program at a school that can issue a Form I-20. You must also be in the U.S. and in valid H-1B/H-4 status at the time you request this change.
Valid Reason for Change
As an H-1B/H-4, you are able to attend school part-time or full-time, providing it does not interfere with your primary purpose of working in the U.S.; therefore, you will need a valid reason for requesting the change to F-1, such as:
- An offer of a graduate student assistantship by the school you will attend;
- A written request from your sponsor requesting your change to F-1;
- Your H-1/H-4 status is expiring and/or you want to complete another degree; or
- You are turning 21 and can no longer remain an H-4 dependent of your H-1B parent.
Your request to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for change of status should consist of the following:
- Completed Form I-539 with the processing fee (check or money order made payable to Department of Homeland Security).
- Receipt for paying the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
- Original Form I-20 signed and dated by you and issuing school
- Original Form I-94 (you are very strongly encouraged to keep a copy of the front and back of the Form I-94)
- Financial verification
- If in H-1B status, copies of all I-797 approval notices. If in H-4 status, copies of all of spouse's/parent's I-797 approval notices for H-1B status, copies of both sides of their I-94 card, and copies of any I-797 approval notices for H-4 status
- A letter from the employer of the H-1B confirming that the H-1B is still employed under all terms and conditions of the original H-1B petition is highly recommended
- Copies of the pages in each individual's passport that include biographical information, passport picture, and passport expiration
- Statement of why you need to change from H-1B or H-4 to F-1 status
It is recommended that this application be sent by certified mail with a return-receipt
For most current mailing information, please follow the instructions located on your Form I-539.