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. This change could have major consequences if your change of status request is denied and you failed to maintain your current legal status throughout the change process. 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 New International Profile & Certificate of Eligibility

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 steps outline 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 a New International Profile request form so we can create a record for you in our international student database. You will receive an email once this is ready.

2. Schedule an appointment with an International Student Adviser to discuss your plans. You can do this by calling us at 848-932-7015.

3. Submit the Change of Status e-form group via the RGlobal portal.

  • Please prepare to submit:
    • photocopy of your passport
    • current visa status documentation, such as a visa stamp
    • current I-94 
    • 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. 

4. Receive your certificate of eligibility for F-1 status (form I-20) or J-1 status (form DS-2019). An adviser may contact you to request additional information before preparing your I-20 or DS-2019.

5. Once your change of status is approved, you must check in with Rutgers Global - ISSS to activate your SEVIS record. You can do this online via the RGlobal portal.

RBHS Students +

1. Submit a New International Profile request form so we can create a record for you in our international student database. You will receive an email once this is ready.

2. Schedule an appointment with an International Student Adviser to discuss your plans. You can do this by calling us at 973-972-6138.

3. Submit the Request for Initial I-20 e-form group via the RGlobal portal.

  • Please prepare to submit:
    • photocopy of your passport
    • current visa status documentation, such as a visa stamp
    • current I-94 
    • original acceptance letter
    • Affidavit of financial support and if applicable affidavit of free room and board
    • Proof of financial support—please refer to the Request for Initial I-20 e-form for funding requirement 

4. Receive your certificate of eligibility for F-1 status (form I-20). An adviser may contact you to request additional information before preparing your I-20.

5. Once your change of status is approved, you must check in with Rutgers Global - ISSS to activate your SEVIS record. You can do this online via the RGlobal portal.