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Change to F-1 Status

There are two ways to change your current immigration status to F-1 status. Leave the US and apply for a F-1 visa or submit a Change of Status application with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you choose to travel and apply for a visa, you need to request a new initial I-20; if you choose to change your status within the US, you need to request a Change of Status I-20. 

To request ISSS to issue your Initial or Change of Status I-20, there will be multiple steps:
  • Meet with an Immigration Coordinator (call 414-229-4846 to make an appointment)
  • After your meeting, you will be provided instructions on how to request your I-20
    • ​Please note that issuance of an I-20 does not constitute F1 status

Note: Change of Status to F-1 while in the US is not advised. It has many complicated factors and can take 10 months or more to process.

UWM’s International Student and Scholar Services does not have the expertise required to advise you on your change of status application. We recommend that you speak to an Immigration Attorney with any questions about or assistance with the Change of Status process.

You can refer to the following website for more information on the Change of Status to F-1:

If your status has been changed to F-1 successfully (either via travel or Change of Status application), immediately call 414-229-4846 to make an appointment with an Immigration Coordinator.
The reason for this appointment is:
  • ISSS must validate your new status and register your record
  • Review the requirements to maintain your F-1 status
  • Provide your next steps

To discuss this information with an Immigration Coordinator, make an appointment by calling 414-229-4846.