Documentation List for Filing Change of Status to F-1

  • $370 (effective 12/23/2016) application fee in check/money order payable to Department of Homeland Security
  • Copy of Rutgers acceptance letter if you are newly admitted; OR if you are in a legal status that allows you to study and you are already enrolled at Rutgers, a letter from your Academic Deans’ Office verifying your major, degree program, expected ending date of program and an official transcript from the Registrar. If you are in your first semester and do not have a Rutgers transcript yet, please ask the Registrar to print out an official copy of your class registration of this semester. 
  • Copy of all pages of signed Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status issued by the Office of International Student & Scholar Services (OISS) through SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
  • Copy of payment receipt of the $200 SEVIS fee to be paid to Department of Homeland Security after I-20 is issued
  • Financial Documentation:  immediately available funds sufficient to cover your tuition, fees and living expenses for at least 12 months. If funding is in student’s own name from a bank in U.S., bank statements of four months with each month carrying a balance of sufficient funding for the complete cost on I-20.  If the financial documents are in the name of a sponsor, the sponsor must complete an Affidavit of Support Form obtainable on the website of the Admissions Office. Other financial documents can be documentation of scholarship/assistantship awards,  approved loans, or official letter in English from financial institutions outside the U.S. supported by evidence of sufficient funding.
  • Letter from you explaining why you want to change your status to F-1 and how the study applies to your professional goals in your home country. You must express clear planning to go back to your home country after your study. For a sample letter, click here.  
  • Evidence of current lawful status:
    • Copy of current I-94 Form printed from
    • Copy of visa page
    • Copy of passport, including all the necessary pages of your biographical information and current expiration date.
    • Working visa holders currently authorized to work in the U.S should provide a letter certifying your employment and two current pay stubs. 
    • B1/B2 visa holders should provide evidence of business/tourist activities in the U.S. 
    • Dependents (F-2, H-4, L2, G4, etc.) should provide evidence that the principal visa holder is maintaining status (his/her visa, passport, I-94, other USCIS documents if any. H1 or L1 visa holders should provide employment verification letter and most recent pay stubs.)
    • A or G visa holders must complete the Form I-566 Interagency Record of Request -- A, G or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization or Change/Adjustment to/from A, G or NATO Status and obtain all required signatures.
  • Evidence of strong ties with your home country such as residence certification, job offer, business ownership, etc.
  • Typed and signed Form I-539 Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status .

IMPORTANT Mailing Instruction:  Use Express Mail or other type of mail that can track confirmation of delivery through U.S. Postal Service or a private courier to mail the documents to USCIS. To avoid “lost mail” problem, please keep the tracking information safely until you receive official receipt from USCIS within three weeks from mailing date.