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Student Visas / Change of Status

College Students
Students Taking Exams

The F-1 (Student) Visa or status allows a noncitizen to be in the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program.

Student Visas / Change of Status

F-1 - Academic Student

This visa is for noncitizens who are enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and their school is authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

Change of Status Application

If a noncitizen entered the United States with legal status for a purpose other than to attend school and they now wish to change their status to student, while remaining in the United States, they can submit an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIST) to change their status. 

M-1 - Vocational Student

This category includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training, such as: cooking classes, technical courses, mechanical classes, flight school, cosmetology , among others.


Did you know...?

Filing a Change of Status application to study in the United States is not the same as having Student Visa on your passport. So, what is the difference between having student "status" and having a student "visa"?

  • The term "visa" refers only to the sticker you receive in your passport to enter the U.S., whereas “status” refers to your classification while you are authorized to stay in the U.S. Think of it this way: you can have multiple visas in your passport, but you can only have one immigration status while in the U.S.

  • When you change your status in the U.S., you are not issued an F-1 visa stamp. Visa stamps can only be issued by a U.S. consulate or embassy overseas.


Having F-1 status will allow you to stay legally in the U.S., but you will need to obtain an F-1 visa stamp abroad if you leave the U.S. and intend to re-enter.​

Schedule a Consultation

To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys and discuss your questions regarding student visas and/or change of status, please click on the following box:

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