Due to the complexity of J status regulations, the Office of International Programs recommends that you speak with an adviser before you begin the application process. If you are subject to Section 212(e), also known as the "two year home residency requirement", you cannot change to F-1 status in the U.S unless you have received a recommendation for a waiver of the requirement from the Department of State. If you are eligible to change status while in the U.S. you will need to be admitted to a full-time academic program in order to be issued a Form I-20.
Your request to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 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).
- For the most current fee information visit the USCIS website.
- The following are needed
- Original Form DS-2019 signed and dated
- Original Form I-94 (you are very strongly encouraged to keep a copy of the front and back of the Form I-94)
- If J-2, copies of J-1's valid DS-2019 and I-94
- Financial verification
- Copies of the pages in each individuals passport that include biographical information, passport picture, and passport expiration
- Statement about why you need to change status from J1 or J-2 to F-1.