Important information for change of status to F1 applicants

1.      Applying for a COS may currently take as many as 4 -6 months (or longer) of processing by USCIS;

2.      Applicants must  maintain their current nonimmigrant status to within 30 days of the program start date on their COS I-20;

3.      The COS application is considered by USCIS to be an individual (not institutional) application. Therefore any requests/inquiries from           USCIS regarding such applications must come from applicants themselves;

4.      Applicants must review all their documents carefully before submitting to USCIS, errors or missing information may cause delays               and/or a denial. All official forms and supporting documents must be properly signed;

5.    USCIS mailing address and filing instructions can be found on the USCIS website. 

6.      International Services (IS) provides recommendations on what to include with the application package based on prior experience              with filing similar applications.  However, every case is different and may be handled by USCIS differently.  Therefore IS is not                      responsible for the outcome of the application, or for any requests from USCIS for additional documentation based on lack of                      information submitted, application/information clarity or lack thereof, or evaluation of applicant’s eligibility for request;

7.      Full time enrollment in an academic program is only allowed after the F1 status has been approved by USCIS;

8.      F2 dependents may engage in part time study at an SEVP certified school;

9.     Student employment, including graduate assistantship, is not authorized until the F-1 status has been approved;
10.   Should USCIS processing of your COS application take longer than anticipated:

  1. You will need special authorization from the LSU Graduate School to register past the deadline to enroll;
  2.  Tuition exemption benefits, and other financial aid, may be lost by the university deadlines;
  3.   IS must register your record in SEVIS no later than 30 days beyond LSU’s deadline to enroll. If your COS is not approved                      by this deadline, the start of your F-1 program may have to be deferred to the next available semester (you would still                          need to comply with #2 above);

11.  Once your F-1 status is approved, you must be enrolled as a full-time student for the semester the COS was approved. You must                 inform IS of the COS approval and  provide copies of the approval notice and I-94 document;

12. Common reasons for a COS denial include:

  1. The applicant failed to maintain their previously accorded status or their status expired more than 30 days before their program start date;
  2. USCIS determines that the applicant’s intent is to reside in the U.S. permanently;
  3. An applicant who holds a dependent status when the principal alien had failed to maintain their valid nonimmigrant status at the time the COS application was filed;
  4. The financial documentation submitted as proof of financial ability is insufficient/unreliable;
  5. Other regulatory reasons and at the discretion of USCIS.

13.  A COS denial may not be appealed. However, the applicant may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider by completing          USCIS Form I-290B.