Changing to Scholar Status in the U.S.
On this page:
Before You Begin
Need to know: If you are going to be employed by Columbia in
- H-1B, O-1, or E-3 or TN status, a change of status is part of the petition that Columbia will file. You do not file a change of status application independently, so this page is not for you.
- J-1 status, a change of status application is not a viable option for you because it takes a very long time to be processed by USCIS--sometimes more than a year---and there is no mechanism for expediting the application. You are not eligible for employment until you have been approved for J-1 status.
If you are not going to be employed by Columbia and will conduct independent research with a Visiting Scholar designation, you may find a change of status to J-1 a good option for you.
To change your status, you must be maintaining your current status.
How to Apply for a Change of Status to J-1 in the U.S.
Send your application by registered mail or courier service. Do not submit the I-539 application electronically.
Assemble required documents
Staple all of the items together (keep a copy for your records) and mail by certified mail or by courier to:
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067