Changing Your Visa Status

Policy on B visas

North Lake College does not issue I-20s (F1 and/or F2) to those in the United States on "B" tourist or visitor visa status.

Other colleges/universities or institutes in the United States may have different policies regarding "B" visa holders.

Do I need to change status to study at NLC?

Other than a "B" visitor status it really depends on what visa you are currently on and your educational goals. If you are on one of the following visa types, then you may be required to change your visa status to F1 before joining an academic degree program:
  • An F2 dependent visa IF you wish to enroll full-time
  • An M1 visa
  • Any dependent child visa status, if you are almost 21 years old
  • A J1 exchange visitor whose J1 program is ending (such as a J1 exchange visitor who is in the au pair program)

If you have questions and/or if you are required to change status to an F1, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

F2 visa holders may study part-time (under 12 credit hours OR under 18 clock hours per week), including credit courses and ESL without having to change to F1. As an F2, if you wish to study full-time in a degree program (12 credit hours), OR 18 or more clock hours per week in class/labs, then you must change status to F1.

Important notes on changing visa status in the U.S.

  • We strongly advise you to contact an immigration attorney for additional information on changing your visa status while in the U.S. Not all visa types are eligible for a change of status.
  • Information about changing a visa status is found on the USCIS website using their new online system. When you fill out the application, please use the North Lake College International Center address on the I-539, not your own address. Our address is in the box on the right side of this page.
  • Change of status applications sometimes take 5 to 6 months, or longer.
  • If you apply for a change of status, you must notify us of the progress.
  • If you are approved to change to F1 visa status, then you will be required to enroll full-time in the next available term, even if that is the summer term. For example, if your change of status to F1 is approved in April, then you must enroll full-time for the summer semester that begins in June.
  • If your change of status application is denied then you must consult an immigration attorney and/or depart the United States immediately.
  • If your change of status application is still pending, you must notify the NLC International Center at least 15 days before your first semester begins so that we can provide a deferral to the next semester. Otherwise, you may be forced to start the whole process again.
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Office Hours & Contacts MTWR 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
F 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Sa & Su Closed

Central Campus, A418
972-273-3138 FAX

Use this address on change-of-status applications:
c/o North Lake College
International Student Center
Suite A418
5001 N. MacArthur Blvd
Irving, Texas 75038