E-1/E-2 to F-1 - Change of Nonimmigrant Status
Contact International Student Services and Programs (ISSP) as soon as you know you must obtain F-1 status in order to discuss your options.
- Obtain an I-20 from ISSP.
If you are currently studying at Fresno State in E-2 status and wish to obtain F-1 status, request an I-20 from the ISSP office and submit your supporting financial documentation and a copy of your passport identification page. Allow 1 week for processing. You will receive an email from ISSP when your I-20 is ready for pick up.
- Review your options for obtaining F-1 status. Decide which option to use: "Travel and Reentry" or "Change Status in the U.S."
- Prepare the required documents and follow next steps for obtaining F-1 status (details below).
Option 1: Travel and Reentry
Review the ISSP Visas page. Plan your travel and F-1 visa appointment accordingly. You can enter the U.S. with your I-20 and F-1 visa no earlier than 30 days before the I-20 start date.
Option 2: Change of Status in the U.S.
Submit your application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by mail.
Mail the following documents to the USCIS Lockbox.
- Form I-539
- $370 fee: check or money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
- Original I-94 card or photocopy of admission stamp and paper printout of I-94 record
- Photocopy of the visa page and identification page in your passport
- Photocopy of the signed I-20 issued in your name by ISSP
- Detailed evidence of financial support (such as a bank statement)
- Documentation of your current E-2 status
- Detailed letter requesting and explaining the need to change status
- Photocopy of proof of payment of SEVIS fee
You are not permitted to engage in on-campus employment until the change to F-1 status is approved.
F-1 status cannot begin earlier than 30 days before the start date on your I-20. You should submit your application several months in advance, and you must be able to maintain your current B-1/B-2 status until 30 days before the I-20 start date. If your tourist status will expire prior to 30 days before your I-20 start date, your application will most likely be denied. Even though you are allowed to stay in the U.S. while the application is pending, if your application is likely to be denied, it will be better for you to travel, obtain an F-1 visa abroad, and reenter the U.S. in F-1 status.
Your foreign, non-U.S. address must be listed in the permanent address field in the Fresno State student portal. If this field currently shows a U.S. address, please update your foreign address at my.fresnostate.edu or submit your foreign address to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and student ID number and we will update the student database in accordance with the F-1 regulations.