Students at Illinois State University in a status other than F-1 may be eligible to change to F-1 status.
Change of status can be accomplished in two ways:
Leaving the U.S., applying for an F-1 visa while abroad and then re-entering the US.
Visit the Department of State US Visas website for detailed instructions on how to apply for a F-1 Student Visa
Applying for a change of status within the U.S. and receiving a new I-94 card indicating F-1 status. Change of status within the U.S. takes approximately 3 to 5 months to accomplish. Applicants from B-2 and F-2 status may not start classes until the change of status has been approved.
When applying for a change of status to F-1 within the United States, individuals must prove:
they are eligible for F-1 status AND
they are eligible for a change of status in general.
The application should be filed in timely manner. Applicants for a change of status to F-1:
should be in a valid status at the time the application is filed AND
their current status should continue to be valid to within 30 days of the F-1 start date.
Additionally, students must pay all required government fees and complete an application process. Change of status applications must be submitted via paper format to USCIS.
Please see the Application Checklist for a description of all the required documentation that should be included in your Change of Status application.
You should NOT travel while your application is pending. If you travel abroad while your change of status is pending, it will be seen as an abandonment of your application and most likely result in a denial of your case by USCIS. Processing times by USCIS can take 3-5 months or longer.