Change of Status to F-1 or J-1

If you are currently in the United States, but not in F-1 or J-1 status, you may or may not need to change your legal status to pursue full-time study at Rutgers.  If you currently hold a different non-immigrant status and are considering obtaining F-1 or J-1 status, please follow the procedure outlined below.

 

1. Make an appointment with an international student adviser to discuss your individual situation.

Appointments must be made at least one day in advance by calling 848-932-7015. Bring your passport and current I-94 with you for the appointment. 

 

2. Decide how to obtain F-1 or J-1 status. 

There are two possible ways to obtain F-1 or J-1 student status:

 

Obtaining F-1 or J-1 Status via Travel

This entails obtaining an "initial attendance" I-20 or DS-2019 from the appropriate Rutgers office, traveling outside the United States and applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa at a U.S. consulate abroad (preferably in your home country), and then returning to the United States where you will be granted F-1 or J-1 status upon re-entry. We encourage you to meet with an international student adviser to discuss your plans and visa application considerations.

 

Obtaining F-1 or J-1 Status While Remaining in the United States

This entails obtaining an "initial attendance – Change of Status requested" I-20 or DS-2019 from the appropriate Rutgers office and submitting it with an application for "change of status" to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

USCIS updated their guidance on Changing to a Nonimmigrant F Student Status on February 6, 2018.  Students considering applying for a change to F-1 status while remaining in the United States are strongly encouraged to consult with an immigration attorney, especially if their current legal status will expire within less than one year.

 

3. Request a certificate of eligibility from the appropriate Rutgers office.

Newly admitted students will receive an I-20 or DS-2019 from admissions or from Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services (RBHS) if an RBHS student. Currently enrolled Rutgers students must request an I-20 or DS-2019 from Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services, following the appropriate procedure outlined below.

 

4. Complete check-in procedure after acquiring F-1 or J-1 status. 

Once the change of status has been approved (whether through travel or remaining in the U.S.), you must notify our office and complete an online check-in procedure through the RGlobal Portal. Use your Rutgers NetID and password to login to your RGlobal account to complete your information through the check-in form (available under “Orientation” in the RGlobal portal). Failure to do so can jeopardize your legal status.

Procedure to request an I-20 or DS-2019

New Brunswick Students +

Newly admitted students will receive an I-20 or DS-2019 from admissions.  Currently enrolled New Brunswick students must request an I-20 or DS-2019 from Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services, following this procedure.

  1. Submit Documents to Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services

After having an initial appointment with an international student adviser, submit the following documents to Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services:

  • General Academic Information Form completed and signed by an academic dean or your graduate program director
  • Certification of Funds Form
  • Proof of financial support—please refer to the Certification of Funds for funding requirement. (Financial support can be in any combination of assistantship, fellowship, personal funds or sponsor funds. Funding documents cannot be more than three months old)

If not submitted during your initial appointment with an international student adviser, also submit the following documents:

  • Copy of your passport, current US visa and current I-94
  • Personal information including foreign address, US address, phone number, and email address.

You may submit these documents directly by email to globalservices@global.rutgers.edu or to the international student adviser you met with regarding your case. Please include your full name, RUID number, and your undergraduate school or graduate program name in the email.

  1. International Student Adviser Contacts You

Based on your situation, an international student adviser will determine how your new I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued.  An adviser may contact you to request additional information before preparing your I-20 or DS-2019. Once your I-20 or DS-2019 is ready, you will receive instructions on how to receive your documents and prepare to obtain F-1 or J-1 status. 

RBHS Students +

1. Submit completed Request for Certificate of Eligibility – Form I-20 and required supporting documentation to Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services (RBHS). You may submit these documents directly by email to ois@global.rutgers.edu or by dropping them off at the office (65 Bergen Street, Room GA-72 Newark, NJ 07107)

2. International Student Adviser Contacts You

Based on your situation, an international student adviser will determine how your new I-20 will be issued. An adviser may contact you to request additional information before preparing your I-20. Once your I-20 is ready, you will receive instructions on how to receive your documents and prepare to obtain F-1 status.