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OI 248.7 Change of nonimmigrant classification to that of a student.
Contents of OI 248.7.
(c) Financial ability.
(d) Prospective students.
(e) Appliation for change form M-1 to F-1.
(f) Change to F-1 from F-2 or to M-1 from M-2 or vice versa.
General. The notes to 22 CFR 41.45 and 22 CFR 41.68 in Volume 9--Visas, Foreign Affairs Manual, contain information, procedures, and considerations for consular officers to determine eligibility for F-1 and M-1 visas. Officers adjudicating applications for change to F-1 and M-1 status must be familiar with those notes.
Study of less than 1 year's duration. When an applicant for a student visa intends to study in the United States less than 1 year, consular officers require evidence that the applicant has immediately available the funds or assurances of support necessary to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of stay. Evidence of advance payment of round-trip transportation may also be required by the consular officer, as a matter of discretion.
Study for a longer period. When the applicant for a student visa intends to study in the United States for a longer period,the consular officer requires the applicant to establish by appropriate evidence that sufficient funds are, or will be, available to defray all his or her expenses during the entire period of his or her anticipated study in this country. The applicant does not have to show that he or she has immediately available "cash in advance" to cover the entire period of his or her intended stud
ies. However, the consular officer will require documentary evidence that the applicant has immediately available sufficient funds to provide all his or her expenses for the first year of study and that, barring unforeseen circumstances, adequate funds will be available each year thereafter in an adequate amount from the same or another financially reliable source.
Adjudication. In adjudicating an application for change to F-I or M-I status, a similar concern for the student's financial ability to pursue his or her intended course of study must be exercised. Statements made by the applicant on page 2 of the required Form I-20A-B or I-20M-N concerning the source and amount of his or her income and means of support must be backed by evidence. If he or she is dependent upon others, he or she must submit affidavit(s) of support, Form(s) I-134, with the evidence requi
red by the instructions on that form. The information furnished by the designated official on page 1 of the required Form I-20A-B or I-20M-N regarding tuition, fees, estimated living expenses and the sources of the student's income must also be considered by the adjudicating officer. All evidence and information must be examined critically in reaching a determination of the applicant's financial ability to pursue his or her intended course of study.
Both F-1 and M-1 students. Consular officers will not issue an F-1 visa to an alien who seeks to enter this country as a student more than 90 days prior to his or her expected registration date as shown on the Form I-20A-B or I-20M-N presented by the alien. Instead, if the consular officer finds the alien to be otherwise qualified for F-I or M-1 status, the consular officer will issue a B-2 visa noted "B-2 Visa Issued On ( date) - Prospective Student".
School not yet selected. Consular officers will issue a B-2 visa to an apparently bona fide academic or language student who has not definitely determined which school he or she will attend and who wishes to enter the United States for the purpose of selecting a school. In such a case, the consular officer will note the visa "Prospective Student - School Not Selected."
Admission interview or entrance examination. When a consular officer is provided credible evidence of the need by a bona fide prospective F-1 student to enter the United States to appear for an admission interview or to take an entrance examination for admission to a school approved by the Service for attendance by nonimmigrant students, a B-2 prospective student visa may be issued with a notation at the bottom of the visa reading "Prospective Student - Admission Interview", or alternatively, "Prospective
Student - School Entrance Examination." The only credible evidence acceptable for the purpose of using this procedure is a letter from the approved school which:
gives the date approval of the school was granted by the Service,
shows the file number (school code) the school was given by the Service,
States that all applicants for admission to the school or for admission to the department of the school considering the alien's admission, without exception, must take an entrance examination or appear for an admission interview in the United States,
states that the alien needs to obtain a visa specifically to take an entrance examination for admission or, alternatively, appear for an interview for admission to the school or to the department of the school considering the alien's admission, and
states that the student has met all other requirements for admission to the school.
When this procedure is used, the consular officer will inform the alien of the need to present the letter from the school requiring attendance for the admission interview or examination upon arrival at the port of entry.
Form I-20A-B not yet received. When a consular officer is satisfied that an alien has been granted admission to a particular school and that circumstances warrant the alien's departure for the United States even though a Form I-20A-B has not yet been received, consideration may be given to the issuance of a B-2 visa for this purpose with a notation below the visa which reads "Prospective Student - Supporting Documents To Be Presented At The Port Of Entry". This procedure should be followed only in instan
ces when pertinent I-20 information is not available , but the alien possesses credible documentary evidence that the school has granted acceptance or admission, such as an original letter of acceptance or admission the letter head stationery of the school, or other appropriate evidence of official admission authorization.
An alien issued such a visa should be informed that upon arrival at a port of entry in the United States, the same documentary evidence will need to be present.
Application for change to F-1 or M-1 classification. Any alien admitted to the United States as a B-2 Prospective student must obtain an I-20M-N from the school to which he or she is accepted and present it to the Service office having jurisdiction, together with an application for change of nonimmigrant status, evidence of required financial resources, and the appropriate fee.
8 CFR 214.2(b)(2)
requires that any B-2 visitor who is otherwise admissible is to be admitted for a minimum period of six months, provided that any required passport is valid as specified in Section 212(a)(26) of the Act. A B-2 prospective student must therefore be admitted in accordance with this regulation.
Application for change from M-1 to F-1. An application for change form M-1 to F-1 classification must be rejected. However, if a student has been incorrectly classified as an M-1 vocational student instead of as an F-1 student, the student nay have his or her nonimmigrant classification changed. The student must submit the following to the Service office having jurisdiction over the school the student was last authorized to attend:
Form I-20A-B, from the school the student intends to attend,
The student's current Form I-20 ID copy,
A letter from a designated official of the school the student was last authorized to attend explaining the reason(s) the designated official believes that the student's nonimmigrant classification should be changed to that of an F-1 student.
Change to F-1 from F-2 or M-1 from M-2 or vice versa. A request for a change to F-1 classification from F-2 classification or to M-1 classification from M-2 classification or vice versa must be accompanied by any form or evidence normally required by Form I-506, Application for Change of Nonimmigrant Status. No application fee is required. The application fee is required. The applicant must make his or her request by letter. In the case of a request for a change to F-2 classification from F-1 classific
ation or to M-2 classification from M-1 classification, the Form I-20 ID copy of the family relationship to the principal alien must accompany the request.