B1/B2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School

Per federal regulations, B1 and B2 nonimmigrants (i.e., visitors who are in the United States for business and pleasure purposes) are prohibited from enrolling in a course of study at a U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school.

If you are a B1 or B2 nonimmigrant and wish to study at a U.S. school, you must file a Form I-539, “Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status,” with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to change to either an F-1 or M-1 status and pay the required fee and include the required documents listed in the instructions.

While your Form I-539 is pending, you must maintain your B1 or B2 status and cannot enroll in your SEVP-certified program until USCIS approves your change of status request. Enrolling in a course of study as a B1 or B2 nonimmigrant, prior to receiving authorization, will result in a status violation and ineligibility to extend your B status or change to F-1 or M-1 status in the future.

If USCIS has not adjudicated your change of status at least 15 days before the program start date on your Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” contact the designated school official at your new school as you may need to defer your attendance to a later start date.

USCIS may only approve your Form I-539 change of status request if you are maintaining your B1/B2 status up to 30 days before your program’s initial start dateThis means that under certain circumstances, you may need to file a second Form I-539, with a separate fee, to request an extension of your B1 or B2 status. Because extending your current stay in B1 or B2 status and changing from B1 or B2 to F-1 or M-1 status are two distinct benefits, you must pay a separate filing fee for each request.

For more detailed information about when you would need to file a second Form I-539, please visit our recently updated Change of Status page and USCIS’ Special Instructions for B1/B2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School.


First published on the Study in the United States website

Summary
B1/B2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School
Article Name
B1/B2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School
Description
B1 and B2 nonimmigrants - visitors who are in the US for business/pleasure, are prohibited from enrolling in a course of study at a U.S. SEVP