Change of Status (COS) to F-1

Prospective students who are on another non-immigrant status may generally petition for a change of status to an F-1 status while in the United States. However, restrictions may apply, and they vary by each case. This can be a time-consuming process as USCIS processing times are unpredictable. During the period of status change, students must have access to a valid mailing address to receive mail from USCIS.

In order to change their status to F-1 status, prospective students need to submit a change of status application to USCIS. Prospective students are eligible for a change of status if they meet the following criteria:

  • Have been lawfully admitted to the United States;
  • Have valid nonimmigrant status;
  • Have not exceeded their stay, or in authorized period of stay;
  • Have not violated regulations or engaged in any kind of illegal activity.

In the case that a prospective student’s authorized period of stay will expire before applying for a change of status, they can apply for an extension of authorized stay with USCIS.

Prior to applying for a change of status, prospective students must do the following:

  • Apply to a SEVP certified school;
  • Obtain admission from the SEVP certified institution (CGU is an approved school);
  • Meet with a Designated School Official (DSO); and
  • Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee and obtain an initial I-20 from CGU.

After obtaining the initial I-20, follow these steps:

Some individuals are eligible to file online. Please check USCIS’s website for eligibility. A change of status can be an overwhelming process. If you are a prospective or current student at CGU who is in need of help with your change of status, contact the SLDL office and schedule an advising appointment through Calendly.