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.

Follow these steps if you need to change to F-1 or J-1 student status in order to pursue your degree at NYU:

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.



Step 1. Understand what you need


Decide which status is right for you.

NYU sponsors international students for either F-1 or J-1 student status. Read on to learn the difference between the two.


Decide how to apply for a change of status.

Step 2. Prepare your documents


Receive your admission letter from NYU.

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.


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 start.nyu.edu to activate it.
  • Enter your NetID and click the “Start!” button.
Step 3. Apply for an I-20 or DS-2019


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 newinternationalstudents@nyu.edu. Be sure to include your NYU ID number, NYU school of admission, and country of citizenship in your email message.


Save your application and supporting documents for your records.

Keep a photocopy of all documents for your records.  


Receive your I-20/DS-2019.

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


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 4. Apply for your student visa

A. For those applying by reentering the US

4A-Final step

Apply for your visa.

Use your I-20 or DS-2019 issued by NYU to apply for your visa. Review these NAFSA tips on applying for a student visa, then apply for a student visa from a US consulate in your country of citizenship or permanent residence.

B. For those applying by remaining in the US                


Submit your change of status application.

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, you MUST still obtain a new visa the next time you travel outside of the United States if you wish to reenter the U.S. 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.

4B-Final Step

Apply for your visa the next time you leave the US.

Use your I-20 or DS-2019 issued by NYU to apply for your visa. Review these tips on applying for a student visa, then apply for a student visa from a US consulate in your country of citizenship or permanent residence.

You can now begin your studies with your I-20 or DS-2019. If you plan to travel outside of the US before you begin your program at NYU you can re-enter the US with your new transfer I-20 from NYU.

Read this Arrival Checklist to find out what you will need to do to begin your program at NYU as an international student.

Important restrictions

If you are currently in the US in B-1 or B-1 status there is higher risk that your change of status application may NOT be approved. Please review this Change of Status Application Checklist carefully, paying special attention to the sample letter attached.

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)

You should contact the OGS in the following circumstances:

  • If you need to leave the US after you submit your application for a change of status
  • If USCIS contacts you requesting more information concerning your application
  • If USCIS does not respond to your application within 3 months
  • If your I-94 or other immigration documents have expired
  • If you are in H-1B status but are no longer working for your H-1B sponsor
  • If you believe you are out of status for any other reason

Risks in Seeking to Change Status while Remaining in the US

Recently, US policy changed regarding failure to continually maintain legal immigration status. 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. Please consult with an OGS advisor and a qualified immigration attorney regarding the risks associated with changing status while remaining in the US.