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Miss Accountant

Tourist visa to student visa

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Hello Everyone,


A friend of mine is here visiting on a tourist visa. After talking with my family and me, he's become very interested in American universities. He already has a degree from his country but would like to get another one from an American university. What's the process for this? Since he's already here can he just adjust his status from a tourist visa to a student visa, or does he have to go back to his country and start over? I tried researching student visas, but I didn't see any information on what to do if the person is already here in the states on a different visa. 


He'd like to avoid going back to his country because of the expensive airfare. It also seems like it would be faster to stay here and adjust his status, if that's possible. For now he's just staying with us and we don't mind hosting him as long as he needs. I know that tuition will be expensive for him since he does not live here, but he assures me that his parents will pay for it if it's for education. He just got here three weeks ago so he still has over 5 months left on his I-94 (6 months), so he has time to file any necessary paperwork before becoming out of status. 


Thank you!

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~~Moved to Student & Exchange Visa, from AOS from Work, Student and Tourist Visas - As the OP's question is not about AOS'ing but obtaining a student visa.~~


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He need to demonstrate that his intent to study only arose after he entered U.S 

  1. The I-539 application with supporting documents to show he is eligible for F-1 status
  2. Form I-20 issued by the academic institution he is going to attend.
  3. Proof of liquid assets to cover his estimated education and living expenses; and
  4. Proof that he have significant ties to his home country and will return when he complete academic program. 

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By definition you can not get a visa in the US and adjusting status has many risks much better to go back and sort it out, obviously the air fare is insignificant compared to tuition costs.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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No, your friend cannot change status within the US. Even if your friend had all the necessary paperwork ready, the process takes like 6 months or more, which is more than the time he has on his visitor visa. 


It is a terrible idea. A lot of people come on the forum to say how USCIS rejected their application to change status to F1 within the US and how they also violated they visitor visa, so they are not allowed back to the US for a long time.


The 5 months he has left is not enough to change status. Plus, in 5 months he cannot start university anywhere because in 5 months is May/June which is the summer. He will not get a student visa for the summer when there are no classes to take. 


Also, your argument about the "expensive airfare" is pretty silly since living in the US for 5 months is more expensive than an flight, even to the most remote places in the world.

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