Skip to main content
International Student Services

J-1 to F-1

You qualify to change from J-1 Exchange Visitor to F-1 Student if you…

…are NOT subject to the two-year home residency requirement or you have a requirement waiver

…are and have been in status and

…are a bona fide non-immigrant, namely one who has no intention of remaining in the United States,

but will return to your home country after completing degree requirements.

To apply, submit the following documents to International Services for review:

  1. Completed Form I-539 (Application for Change of Nonimmigrant Status)—Form I-539 may be downloaded here and filled in by using your keyboard before printing or obtained from International Services.
  2. Form I-20 issued through International Student Services (ISS) if you are a current student. In order to be issued a Form I-20, you must have been admitted to a BYUH degree program.
  3. Original financial documentation used to obtain a Form I-20. If a department is sponsoring you and wants to continue to support you under the new status, your department must state on BYUH letterhead how much money you will receive, the duration of support, and the expected date of graduation. If you are providing your own support, you must show proof of finances, such as a certified bank statement.
  4. Copies of your passport pages including your visa, passport number and expiration date, and your picture.
  5. Original Form I-94—Departure Record
  6. All your original Form DS-2019s
  7. Dependent Applications—If you have dependents here in the U.S. on J-2 visas, each of them must also submit applications, providing all of the above documentation plus a copy of the original marriage certificate (or birth certificate for children) with a notarized translation of the certificate(s).
  8. Money Order or personal check for $370.00 made payable to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration ServicesCash is not accepted and an additional $10 for each dependent. On the front of the money order include the student's name, date of birth, and Form I-94 admission number for reference.
  9. (Optional) Personal statement explaining why the Change of Status (COS) is necessary.
  10. After our document review and copies are made for your records, mail the documents listed above to:

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    California Service Center
    P.O. Box 10539
    Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1053

  • General information for preparing application materials
  • It will take from 60-120 days to hear back from the CSC.
  • If approved, the CSC will return a new Form I-94 indicating your new status to the address indicated on your Form I-539 application. Make sure that if you move, you have your mail forwarded.
  • It is advised that you do not travel outside of the U.S. with a change of status application pending.