International Frequently Asked Question

How long does it take to receive an F-1 visa? How long does it take to receive a change of status to F-1?

If you are abroad:

If you are applying from abroad, you will need to go through the F-1 visa interview at a U.S. consulate/embassy. You can go here to see visa appointment waiting times. You can contact the consulate/embassy you plan to interview at to, schedule an appointment, learn what documents you will need to prepare, and what fees will apply. You can review these 10 points to help you better prepare for your F-1 student visa interview.

If you are in the U.S.:

If you are in the U.S. and plan to apply for a change of status to F-1, you will be filling an I-539 change of status application form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can check USCIS case processing times by going here. The name of the form is I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. The Field Office or Service Center will be either the California or Vermont Service Center (applicants do not get to decide which service center processes their I-539 application). Please note that these are only estimated times and in some cases processing times may be much longer.

International student advisers at UCSC Extension cannot submit applications to USCIS on behalf of a student, but can help answer questions.