Welcome to Arkansas State University!
Information Regarding Current Policies and Application Procedures 
 

REGULATIONS

B1/B2 to F-1

If a student wishes to change their B1/B2 visitor visa to an F-1 student visa, the following regulations and procedures must be followed. To change status, students must first apply and be accepted to a program of study. Admission requirements are located on the International Programs website.

  • Students in the B1/2 category may not attend school while the change of status is pending.
  • If a student leaves the United States while the application is pending, the change of status is automatically cancelled.
F-2 to F-1

If a student wishes to change from an F-2 dependent visa to an F-1 student visa, the following regulations and procedures must be followed:

  • Students in the F-2 category may only attend the ESL program on a part-time basis as long as the program of study is recreational in nature and does not count towards a degree program. They are not eligible to be full time students.
  • If a student leaves the United States while the application is pending, the change of status is automatically cancelled.

PROCEDURES

  1. Complete the I-539 form and pay the processing fee. The processing fee can be paid by check or money order made payable to the Department of Homeland Security and must be mailed with the completed application. a. For more information, and to print the form, please visit the USCIS website: www.uscis.gov, click on “Forms”, click on I-539.
  2. Obtain an original I-20 from Arkansas State University.
  3. Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee and obtain a receipt. The I-901 SEVIS fee can be paid at: www.fmjfee.com. Students must have an I-20 SEVIS number before paying the fee
  4. Other documents to be included in the application packet
    • Original I-94 card
    • Copy of US stamped visa from the passport
    • Copy of biographical information page from the passport
    • Copies of financial support documents (these will be the same ones that were used for the I-20).
    • Letter from the student: This letter should explain why you are changing to an F-1 student visa status, should demonstrate you are staying in the US temporarily, and that you did not intend to study when you received the visitor visa.
Additional Points

Applicants for a change of status should be aware that it can take 6-9 months for the change of status to be approved. Applicants should also provide a current, accurate mailing address because USCIS will correspond to the student through the United States Postal Service. If there are additional documents needed for the change of status USCIS will contact the student directly, not ASU.

Those that want to change to F-1 status are not eligible for any F-1 benefit until they are approved for a change of status and the start date on the I-20 is valid.