How to Change Your Visitor Visa to Study Visa in USA

How to Change Your Visitor Visa to Study Visa in USA. Changing your visa status in the United States from a visitor (B-1/B-2) visa to a student (F-1) visa involves several steps.


It’s important to note that U.S. immigration laws and processes can change, so it’s always a good idea to consult with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or seek legal advice for the most up-to-date information. Here is a general guide on how you might proceed:

  1. Receive Acceptance from a U.S. School:
    • Obtain acceptance from a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)-approved school in the United States. You need to receive a Form I-20 from the school.
  2. Pay the SEVIS Fee:
    • Pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee online. You will need to have the SEVIS ID number from your Form I-20 to pay this fee.
  3. Complete the U.S. Student Visa Application (DS-160):
    • Fill out the online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form DS-160 and print the confirmation page with the barcode.
  4. Pay the Visa Application Fee:
    • Pay the non-refundable visa application fee. Payment methods and amounts may vary by U.S. embassy or consulate, so check with the specific location where you plan to apply.
  5. Schedule a Visa Interview:
    • Schedule a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Be sure to check the waiting times and processing times for visa appointments at the specific location.
  6. Attend the Visa Interview:
    • Attend the visa interview with all required documents, including:
      • DS-160 confirmation page with barcode.
      • Visa application fee receipt.
      • Passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay.
      • Form I-20 issued by the U.S. school.
      • SEVIS fee payment receipt.
      • Any other documents requested by the embassy or consulate.
  7. Receive the Visa:
    • If your visa application is approved, the U.S. embassy or consulate will issue a visa stamp on your passport.
  8. Travel to the United States:
    • Once you have your visa, you can travel to the United States. Upon arrival, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the port of entry will determine your eligibility for entry.
  9. Check-in with the Designated School Official (DSO):
    • Upon arrival, you must check in with the Designated School Official (DSO) at your school. They will help you maintain your F-1 status and provide information on maintaining legal status in the United States.

It’s crucial to follow the specific instructions provided by the U.S. embassy or consulate where you are applying for the visa, as procedures may vary. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or advisor for personalized guidance based on your circumstances.

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Can I Convert a Visitor Visa To a Student Visa In the USA?

Yes, it is possible to convert your visitor visa (B-1/B-2) to a student visa (F-1 or M-1) in the USA, but it requires careful planning and following specific procedures. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

1. Secure Admission to a US Educational Institution:

  • Get accepted into a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified educational institution in the USA. You can find a list of SEVP-certified institutions on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.
  • Obtain an official Form I-20 (“Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status”) from your chosen institution. This form serves as the foundation for your visa application.

2. Meet Visa Eligibility Requirements:

  • Ensure you meet all eligibility requirements for the specific student visa you’re applying for:
    • F-1 visa for academic studies: You must be enrolled in a full-time course of study at an accredited educational institution.
    • M-1 visa for vocational training: You must be enrolled in a non-academic vocational program that is at least one year in length.
  • Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to cover your anticipated expenses throughout your studies. This can include bank statements, scholarship documentation, or sponsorships.
  • Maintain a valid passport and travel documents.

3. File Form I-539 (“Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status”):

  • Submit Form I-539 to USCIS along with the following documents:
    • Completed Form I-20 and a signed enrollment certificate from your institution.
    • Proof of financial resources.
    • Passport and visa photographs.
    • Application fee and any other required documents as listed by USCIS.

4. Schedule a Visa Interview (Optional):

  • Depending on your nationality and circumstances, you might need to attend a visa interview at a US consulate or embassy in your home country.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your study plans, financial resources, and visa intentions.

5. Maintain Status and Compliance:

  • Once your status change is approved, maintain your F-1 or M-1 visa status by complying with all regulations:
    • Attend classes regularly and maintain good academic standing.
    • Update USCIS on any address changes or changes in your education program.
    • Obtain travel documents or visa extensions as needed before leaving the USA.

Important points to remember:

  • Changing status within the USA can be complex and time-consuming. Start the process well in advance of your intended start date at the educational institution.
  • Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized guidance and assistance navigating the process.
  • Be prepared to provide thorough documentation and evidence to support your application.
  • USCIS may request additional information or interviews at their discretion.
  • Maintaining your status and complying with regulations is crucial to avoid any complications or visa revocation.
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Here are some helpful resources to learn more:

Remember, changing your visa status requires careful planning and adherence to regulations. By following these steps and seeking professional guidance when necessary, you can increase your chances of a successful transition and pursue your educational goals in the USA.

Can You Change Your Visa Type While In The US?

es, it is possible to change your visa type while you are in the United States, but it is not a simple process. There are specific requirements and procedures that you must follow, and it is important to seek professional guidance from an immigration attorney to ensure that you are doing everything correctly.

Here are the general steps involved in changing your visa type in the US:

1. Determine your eligibility. Not all visas can be changed to other types of visas while you are in the US. For example, you cannot change a tourist visa (B-1/B-2) to a work visa (H-1B) without first leaving the country and applying for the new visa at a US consulate or embassy abroad. However, you can change a B-1/B-2 visa to a student visa (F-1) while you are in the US if you meet certain requirements.

2. Gather the required documentation. The specific documents you will need will vary depending on the type of visa you are changing to, but they will typically include:

  • A completed Form I-539, Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of your current visa status
  • Evidence of your financial support
  • A letter from your employer or school, if applicable

3. File your application. You can file your application with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) by mail or in person. The filing fee is $465.

4. Attend an interview. You may be required to attend an interview with a USCIS officer. This is an opportunity for the officer to ask you questions about your application and your reasons for changing your visa status.

5. Wait for a decision. USCIS will typically decide on your application within 3-6 months. If your application is approved, you will be issued a new visa. If your application is denied, you will have the right to appeal the decision.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • Changing your visa type can be a complex and time-consuming process. It is important to start the process well in advance of your desired start date for your new visa.
  • It is highly recommended that you consult with an immigration attorney to help you with your application. An attorney can advise you of your eligibility, help you gather the required documentation, and represent you in court if your application is denied.
  • Several scams target people who are trying to change their visa status. Be careful of any unsolicited offers of help, and do not give your money or personal information to anyone you do not trust.
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Here are some resources that you may find helpful:

  • USCIS Change of Status webpage:
  • Find an immigration attorney: [AILA – American Immigration Lawyers Association]
  • US Department of State: [U.S. Department of State (.gov)]

Can I Go To The US On a Tourist Visa And Get A Job?

No, you cannot legally go to the US on a tourist visa (B-1/B-2) and get a job. Tourist visas are specifically intended for temporary visits for tourism or pleasure, not for employment. Working on a tourist visa is a violation of immigration laws and can have serious consequences, including:

  • Detention and deportation: If you are caught working on a tourist visa, you may be detained and deported from the US.
  • Future visa ineligibility: Violating the terms of your visa can make it difficult or impossible to obtain future visas to the US.
  • Fines: You may be subject to fines for violating immigration laws.

However, there are some exceptions where you might be able to legally work in the US on a visitor visa:

  • Certain academic activities: Students enrolled in certain academic programs may be able to work on campus with authorization from their school.
  • Spouses of certain visa holders: Spouses of certain visa holders, such as H-1B or L-1 visa holders, may be eligible for work authorization through a dependent visa.
  • Participation in specific programs: Some government or cultural exchange programs may allow participants to work temporarily on their tourist visas.

It’s crucial to consult with an immigration attorney to understand your specific situation and determine if there are any legal avenues for you to work in the US on your tourist visa. They can also help you avoid any potential legal issues.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

Remember, it’s always best to follow the proper channels and obtain the necessary authorization before working in the US. Trying to work illegally can have serious consequences, so it’s important to be well-informed and take the necessary steps to stay on the right side of the law.