Students in the U.S. Seeking a Change of Status
How to Apply
There have been a number of changes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requirements for nonimmigrants seeking to change their status to F or M. Those interested in changing their status to F or M student status should read the USCIS guidance on changing to a Nonimmigrant F or M Student Status. Per USCIS requirements, a student must be able to maintain a valid status while seeking to change their status. The cost for applying for a change of status is $370 (I-539 form) with an additional $350 for the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) fee. Additional fees may be required to maintain your current status.
If your change of status application is approved by USCIS, you’ll receive the benefits of the F-1 status, but you won’t receive an F-1 visa in your passport. An F-1 visa is required to re-enter the U.S.
If you’re interested in changing your status, play our video “How to Become an International Student at COA” and follow the steps below in the order listed.
Students currently in the U.S. are required to attend an International Student Interest session. These sessions are held weekly June through September and monthly October through May. All meetings are held at COA – Dare. Students must attend an interest meeting for their application to be processed.
. Students are required to complete the entire COA application which includes completing the Residency Determination Services part of the application. Once accepted students will be sent an acceptance letter via email. Students should save this letter for their visa interview. The application is required. International students may enroll in programs that have been approved by the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). COA also requires a $50 Application Processing Fee
be paid prior to submission of your I-20 documentation.
Lasted updated: January 2020
The following programs permit F-1 international student enrollment:
- Associate Degree Nursing
- Associate in Arts
- Associate in Engineering
- Associate in Fine Arts (theatre)
- Associate in Fine Arts (visual arts)
- Associate in General Education
- Associate in Science
- Associate in Applied Sciences – Business Administration
- Associate in Applied Sciences – Global Business
- Associate in General Occupational Technology
- Professional Crafts: Jewelry
- Agribusiness Technology
- Health and Fitness Science
- Aviation Systems Technology
- Computer Aided Drafting Technology
- Healthcare Business Informatics
- Medical Assisting
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Medical Office Administration
- Surgical Technology
- Human Services Technology
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Before COA can issue you an I-20 we have to determine that students meet the minimum English reading and writing requirements. International Students currently in the U.S. can complete the COA placement test. International students must earn 34 points on the English portion of the test in order to qualify for an I-20. Students are given 2 opportunities to earn the necessary score on the placement test. Students overseas must take the TOEFL or ILETS Academic exam and earn the minimum scores: TOEFL — Internet Based 40, Paper Based 425, Computer Based 120. The ILETS Academic score we accept is a 5 or higher. We only accept the TOEFL, ILETS or the RISE test (the RISE placement test can only be taken in North Carolina). Once students have earned the required English score on the RISE placement test students will be required to complete RISE math placement test for enrollment purposes.
An I-20 is a certificate or eligibility an is required for all international students seeking to enroll at COA. The documents required for an I-20 are listed on COA’s I-20 application
along with the specific details of each requirement.
Once the student has completed the I-20 application and has gathered all the required documentation, students should email their documentation (in one email) to a COA designated school official (DSO). Once all the required documentation has been submitted and approved, a college DSO will create the student’s Form I-20. Students should allow one to two weeks for a Form I-20 to be processed and completed. Once a student’s Form I-20 is processed and completed they will be contacted via email. Students can pick up their I-20 or it can be mailed. A Form I-20 cannot be emailed.
Students interested in changing their status should work with their lawyer to submit the proper documentation to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. Students seeking to return home should make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy once they return to their home country.