Change to J-1 Status

Option one: Apply for J-1 status from inside the U.S.

Approval or denial of your Change of Status application can take up to four months. It is critical that you start the application process well in advance of the start of your new program. Timing is especially critical if you will have funding from your department that will require you to work on campus in your first semester. Current processing times can be found by going to the USCIS website.

Request the appropriate form from OIS

Before you can apply for a Change of Status, you must first request a DS-2019 from OIS. Make an appointment with an OIS advisor by calling 812-855-9086 to see if you are eligible.

You will need to provide us with:

  • Updated financial documentation, less than 12 months old
  • A copy of your passport identity page (including date of birth, name, photo, and expiration date)
  • A copy of the passport identity pages for any dependents on your record
  • Admission letter from the Office of International Services

Once you have assembled the appropriate documents, contact OIS for Atlas access. Once it is granted, you can request your DS-2019 using Atlas.

Complete the change of status application (Form I-539) from USCIS

You will need to gather these documents:

  • Form I-539
  • A check or money order for $370, made out to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Copies of:
    • Your new DS-2019 (You must request this new DS-2019 from the OIS via Atlas)
    • Your admission letter—from the Office of International Admissions
    • Financial documents showing that funds are available to cover the expenses as listed on the DS-2019 (Learn more about estimated expenses)
    • The front and back of your I-94 card
    • Your passport’s identification page (including date of birth, name, photo, and expiration date)
    • Documentation that proves that you have been maintaining your other visa status (examples will be provided by an OIS advisor)
    • A receipt proving payment of the $220 SEVIS fee
    • A statement asserting that you are aware that as a student you may be subjected to a two-year home residency requirement.

Under some circumstances, an I-539 Change of Status application may not be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) because of restrictions imposed by a previous status. In these cases, travel would be required for the change of status. An OIS advisor can help determine your eligibility for an I-539 Change of Status application.


Get help with your change of status application

OIS can help you through the process. Just call us at 812-855-9086 to make an appointment with an advisor.

You can also retain legal counsel to help with this application and its submission. If you choose this option, you will be required to provide OIS with a copy of your receipt notice and the final adjudication (approval or denial) documents as soon as you receive them.

If your application is approved, your new status will begin on the date indicated by USCIS on your Approval Notice.