Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers


To apply for a change to F-1 status in the United States, the nonimmigrant must submit the following to USCIS:

  • Photocopies of current immigration status documents, visa stamp, and passport page
  • Copies of financial support documents, such as a bank statement or letter from the bank used to obtain I-20.
  • Letter explaining why you want to change to F-1 status. (Optional)


  1. Gather all documents listed above. Make file copies of all documents before sending to USCIS.
  2. Please mail your petition to the USCIS Service Center:

USCIS California Service Center

P.O. Box 10129

Laguna Niguel, CA 92607

  1. On average, USCIS will likely take one to four months to process your application; however the application process may exceed this time frame.
  2. If USCIS approves your application, you will receive:
    • Another Form I-797 approval notice, which includes a new I-94.


Remember to store these documents in a safe place and always keep them as a record of your status change

Notes on Changing Status to F-1 within the U.S.

  • B-2 or F-2 applicants applying for a change of status MUST wait until USCIS approves and awards F-1 status before attending Pasadena City College. Other non-immigrants may begin attendance prior to receiving F-1 status.
  • Travel outside the U.S. while the application is pending cancels the application or, for someone who has changed status within the U.S., travel cancels the new status. If you travel outside the U.S., you must apply for and receive an F-1 visa at a U.S. consular post abroad in order to re-enter as an F-1 student.