Information on this page is specific to students newly admitted to their NYU academic program. If you have already begun your NYU academic program in another status and are now wishing to obtain F-1 or J-1 student status, please refer to our web page specifically for continuing students to obtain F-1 or J-1 status.

If you are currently in the United States in a non-immigrant status (such as H-4, A-1, or L-2 status), you may be able to study in your current status. Find out if you can study at NYU under your current status.

You may, however, want or need to change to F-1 or J-1 status in order to begin your degree at NYU. If you do decide you want to change your status, you’ll find a general overview of the process below. It’s best to discuss your situation with an immigration attorney to help determine the status that is best for you and your available options based on your immigration history and future plans in the United States.

The information contained on this page is for general information purposes only. Due to frequent government updates, NYU OGS may make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents on this page at any time without prior notice.

Please note, these directions are meant to help you in completing your application but should not be considered legal advice. The US Department of State ultimately provides the decision on your visa application, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services ultimately provides the decision on your change of status application.

Understand the Process

Read all the steps in this process carefully to determine how you will obtain F-1 or J-1 status and which status you will change to. And remember, it’s best to discuss your situation with an immigration attorney to determine which way to obtain the status that will be best for you.

To be eligible for NYU sponsorship of F-1 or J-1 student status, you need to be accepted to a full-time academic program at NYU and have an official admission notice, along with an NYU University ID number. If you are not yet admitted to NYU and have questions about how to apply, please visit NYU Admissions.

There are two ways that you can obtain F-1 or J-1 status:

  1. By first applying for an I-20 or DS-2019 from OGS at NYU, departing the United States, and then reentering the United States in F-1 or J-1 status, or
  2. By first applying for an I-20 or DS-2019 from OGS at NYU and then filing a change of status application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the United States, remaining in the United States until the approval or denial is received.

Important Restrictions

If you are currently in the US in B-1 or B-2 status there is a higher risk that your change of status application may NOT be approved.

If any of the following apply to you, you cannot apply for a change of status within the US:

  • You are currently in the US under the "visa waiver" program
  • You are currently in the US as a J-1 exchange visitor or a J-2 dependent and are subject to the 2-Year Home Residency Requirement
  • You are currently in the US, but are in violation of your current immigration status (e.g., because your I-94 expired or you have remained beyond your authorized period of stay in the US.)

How to Apply

Step 1: Get the I-20 or DS-2019 from OGS

Step 1a: Decide Which Status is Right for You

In order to study at NYU, you will need to obtain a student status for the US. NYU sponsors international students for either F-1 or J-1 student status.

Step 1b: Activate your NYU NetID and NYU email.

  • If you don’t already know your NetID, learn your NYU NetID.
  • If you already know your NetID, go to to activate it.
  • Enter your NetID and click the “Start!” button.

Step 1c: Complete your I-20 or DS-2019 Application.

Fill out the I-20/DS-2019 Application for Newly Admitted Students online. To access the application you will need to have your NYU ID number. This is the number you received from NYU that starts with "N" and is followed by 8 numbers, for example, N12345678. You will also need your NYUHome/email address password. Review the application checklist information to ensure you have all you need to successfully complete the online application.

*You must be logged into your NYU email account in order to access the application. If you're logged into your NYU account and you still have problems, please:

  • Make sure you have paid your tuition deposit to the NYU school you were admitted to.
  • If you have paid the deposit, wait 2 business days and try to access the application again at that time.
  • If you are still unable to access the application, please email Be sure to include your NYU ID number, NYU school of admission, and country of citizenship in your email message.

Step 1d: Receive your I-20/DS-2019.

Approximately 2 weeks after submitting a complete application, you will receive your I-20 or DS-2019.

Step 2: Pay the SEVIS fee.

Once you’ve received your I-20 or DS-2019, you will need to pay a SEVIS fee. In order to pay, complete the Form I-901 along with the payment via mail or the Internet (dependents in F-2 or J-2 status are not required to pay the fee). The SEVIS fee must be paid at least 3 business days prior to a visa interview or the filing of the change of status application in the US.

Step 3: Get F-1 or J-1 Status

Remember, if you change your mind on how you will obtain your F-1 or J-1 status (for example, when you applied for your I-20/DS-2019 you indicated you would be traveling outside of the US and you are now planning to apply for a change of status with US Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States) you MUST contact OGS as you will need a new I-20 or DS-2019 to reflect your current plans.

Option 1: Obtain Status By Reentering the US

Travel outside of the US, get an F-1 or J-1 visa, and reenter using the new visa. This option would allow you to immediately have F-1 or J-1 status when you reenter the US. It also gives you the visa you will need for any future entry to the US.

Once you successfully reenter the US as an F-1 or J-1 student, complete the OGS arrival form. We will review your documents and remind you of requirements you must fulfill as an international student in F-1 or J-1 status.  

Option 2: Obtain Status by Filing a Change of Status Application with USCIS and Remaining in the US

In order for this option to work for you, you must be in status and eligible for F-1 or J-1 status at the time you apply and remain eligible for F-1 or J-1 status at the time the application would be approved.

Please note that applying for a change of status in the US leads ONLY to a change in your immigration status. You will NOT obtain a new entry visa by this method. If you receive a change of status while remaining in the US, you MUST still obtain a new visa the next time you travel outside of the United States if you wish to reenter as an F-1 or J-1 student.

Getting approval for a change to F-1 or J-1 status is NOT a guarantee that you will get an F-1 or J-1 visa when you apply at an embassy or consulate outside of the US. It also carries some risks if your change of status request is delayed too long, is denied, or if you fail to maintain your current legal status throughout the change of status process.

Expedited Processing for Change of Status Application with USCIS

Premium processing is available for Change of Status applications. Premium processing is a way for you to pay extra money to USCIS so that they will expedite processing your application.

If applicants pay $1750 to request premium processing of the Change of Status application (this is separate and in addition to the $455 application fees for the Change of Status itself), USCIS will review the application within 30 calendar days for a Form I-539 for applicants seeking a Change of Status to F-1 or J-1 within the United States. Please keep in mind that this does not mean the application will automatically be approved within 30 calendar days, it just means that the application will be reviewed within 30 calendar days. For Form I-539 applicants, the processing clock will not begin until all applicants and co-applicants have completed the required biometric services appointment. This review means that USCIS will take one of the following actions on the application within 30 calendar days:

  • issue an approval notice
  • issue a denial notice
  • issue an intent to deny
  • issue a request for evidence
  • open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation

Full details on how to request premium processing is on the USCIS webage for the Form I-907, the form needed to request premium processing.

Please keep in mind that premium processing is not a requirement for the Change of Status application. You can file the I-539 for a Change of Status on its own without requesting premium processing.