Changing to F-1 Student Status in the U.S.
If you currently are in the U.S. in another status and want to change to F-1 student status without leaving the U.S., you are eligible to apply for a change of status to USCIS (Immigration and Citizenship Services). If approved, your status will be changed to F-1 while you remain in the United States.
You can change to F-1 student status if you are legally maintaining your current immigration status at the time of application.
You are NOT eligible to change your status if:
1) You last entered the U.S. under the visa waiver program (ESTA).
2) You are in J-1 status subject to the two-year home residency requirement. This prohibits you from changing status in the U.S.
3) Your current status will end more than 30 days before the start date of your F or J program.
You can, however, leave the U.S., apply for an F-1 visa and then re-enter the U.S. to obtain F-1 status.