Options to apply for a new status
Submit a change of status (COS) application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) while remaining in the U.S. The USCIS reviews applications for changes
of status based on the applicant's ability to document and justify a change of primary
purpose for being in the U.S. since last arrival.
You must be in lawful non-immigrant status to be granted a change to a different status. USCIS must receive your COS application while your current status is still valid, and you may remain in the U.S while your application is pending. You will have officially exited your current status on the date noted on USCIS approval notice. If you are in the United States unlawfully or have overstayed your current status, you are ineligible to apply for a change of status from within the Unites States.
USCIS requires the following to apply for a COS:
You must decide which semester you wish to begin your F-1 program. Be aware that applying for a change of status (COS) may take many months for processing. If you wish to be changed to F-1 in less time, you must exit the U.S., apply for an F-1 visa abroad and return in F1 Status. If this is what you decide to do, please let us know BEFORE we issue your I-20. The I-20 issued to apply for a change of status while remaining in the U.S. is different from the one issued to apply for the F-1 visa abroad.
Once your F1 status is approved, you must enroll as a full-time student. As an F1 student, you are allowed to work no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. Your employment can begin no earlier than 30 days prior to the first day of classes.
Request Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility: You must be officially admitted to a program of study . Submit the following to the COS adviser at the International Services (IS) office:
Allow at least five (5) working days for us to produce this form I-20 for you. You will need your I-20 to pay the SEVIS fee.
Pay the SEVIS fee: Once you have your I-20 you must pay the $200 SEVIS fee (Form I-901). Visit the following web sites for information on this procedure: www.FMJfee.com or http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm. Print out a copy of the receipt.
Schedule an appointment with the COS adviser at International Services (IS) by calling (225)578-3191, and bring the following with you when you come to your appointment:
Additional documents required according to specific status:
An F-2 dependent may not engage in full-time study until the change of status from F-2 to F-1 has been approved and the official documents received by the IS. The following are required to apply:
An H-4 dependent can enroll in a degree program or may change to F-1 student status in order to pursue a full course of study leading to a degree. Most H-4 dependents must change to F-1 status in order to accept employment, including assistantship duties, except those in possession of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and pending adjudication for permanent residence. The following are required to apply:
Proof of your current H4 status:
An H-1B may change to F-1 student status in order to pursue a full course of study leading to a degree. An H-1B must change to F-1 status in order to accept assistantship duties or seek employment as an LSU student. The following are required to apply:
You cannot accept any kind of student employment until your status has been officially changed to F-1 and it has been reported to the IS. The following are required to apply:
An E-2 dependent can enroll in a degree program or may change to F-1 student status in order to pursue a full course of study leading to a degree. An E-2 dependent is eligible to apply to USCIS for unrestricted employment authorization, including assistantship duties. The following are required to apply:
An L-2 dependent can enroll in a degree program or may change to F-1 student status in order to pursue a full course of study leading to a degree. An L-2 dependent is eligible to apply to USCIS for unrestricted employment authorization, including assistantship duties. The following are required to apply:
Your F-1 spouse must be an LSU student for IS assistance. USCIS Service Center must receive the application for change of status before the current status ends. Applicants may lawfully remain in the U.S. while the COS application is pending. F-2 dependents are not allowed to enroll for classes or accept employment of any kind. If you cannot apply for the change of status to F-2 before your current status ends, or if you wish to be changed to F-2 in less time, you must exit the U.S., apply for an F-2 visa stamp, and re-enter the US in F2 status.
Your spouse must request the F2 I-20 for you. They should complete a Green Sheet Request Form at the Front Desk and attach the items below:
Once you have collected the F2 I-20, schedule a one hour appointment with the COS adviser at IS by calling (225)578-3191.
Bring the following documentation with you when you come to your appointment:
The COS adviser will review your application and supporting documents before it is mailed to the Immigration Office for processing. Application processing times vary and may be rather long; for current processing times see https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/jsps/index.jsp . USCIS will issue a Receipt Notice acknowledging that your application has been received. Using your receipt number you will be able to check the status of your application on line at http://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do . We will notify you by e-mail when the approval notice (Form I-797) is received by our office.
You will not receive a new entry visa stamp with your change of status approval. If you travel outside of the U.S. after your change of status approval, you will have to apply for a new visa stamp while abroad to be able to return to the U.S. in your new non-immigrant status.