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Change of Immigration Status to F-1 or J-1

Federal regulations permit individuals holding a nonimmigrant visa in the U.S. to change status to another nonimmigrant category while in the U.S. by submitting a change of status application. The ISSO change-of-status (COS) process (i.e. F-2 to F-1; J-1 to F-1; J-2 to F-1; H-1B to F-1 or H-4 to F-1) consists of three 1-hour appointments with an immigration advisor. Students must first be admitted to Oakland University (OU). The COS usually takes 3-4 months for USCIS approval, during which time, the student should not move from their current residence. Please note that Graduate Assistants can’t begin working until his/her change of status is approved. For B-1 visa holders ISSO will issue a COS I-20 and advise on how to best proceed.


The three 1-hour appointments consist of the following:


1st Appointment:

·         Make copies of immigration paperwork, i.e. passport, visa, I-94 card, and OU admit letter

·         Identify current immigration status and timeline

·         Review COS process and forms


2nd Appointment:

·         Verify Financial Support

·         Verify OU admitted student status

·         Explain process to pay SEVIS fee

·         Generate I-20


3rd Appointment:

·         Receive check for SEVIS fee

·         Review all support documentation

·         Finalize the COS packet

·         Ready the COS packet for mailing by the student



1.  You must pay tuition at the non-resident rate.
2.  You must have health insurance that meets the nine Oakland University requirements.
3.  You must be registered full-time in F-1 and J-1 student status (Full-time = 12 undergraduate or 8 graduate credits).
4.  You must attend the next New International Student Orientation Program.
5.  To become registered in the USCIS SEVIS database, you must meet with an ISSO Advisor immediately when you receive your stamped immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) and your I-94 card.