After you receive your I-20 or DS-2019, you can start the visa application and interview process. You will need to submit your visa application online and set up an interview time. For more information about applying for the visa, check our Visa Application
page. Some students request documents from multiple schools. Keep in mind, if you're entering the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 for the first time, the school on your visa should say Texas A&M University.If you transferred your F-1 or J-1 record to Texas A&M
, you don't have to apply for another visa unless you travel outside the U.S. and your previous visa has expired.
Students already in the U.S. on other statuses may change their status by traveling and applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa. If you want to change your status without traveling, see the section below.**If you’re a citizen of Canada or Bermuda, you may be exempt from the visa requirement. More information here.
Changing Your Status while Staying in the U.S.
If you are already in the U.S. on another nonimmigrant status and want to change to F-1 or J-1 without traveling, then you’ll need to submit an online or paper I-539 application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
This application requires your I-20 or DS-2019 issued by ISSS in addition to other documents. You will also have to pay a filing fee to USCIS. You should not travel outside the U.S. until USCIS approves your F-1 or J-1 status.
For more information, see USCIS’ website about the I-539 application.