If you're currently in the U.S. with non-immigrant status and want to change to F-1 or J-1 status while remaining in the U.S., bring the following documents to the ISSO for review before you apply for change of status with USCIS.
Instructions on how to change your status to F-1 can be found here.
If you intend to change your status to something other than F-1 or J-1, visit with an ISS Specialist to discuss the process and necessary paperwork.
You may also obtain another status by traveling abroad and scheduling an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for the appropriate visa for the status you wish to have granted upon re-entry to the US. You will need to have the appropriate documentation for the visa you wish to apply for. Visit with an ISS Specialist to discuss the process and necessary paperwork for this option.
It's best to apply for a visa in your home country, though some embassies and consulates can process third country national requests. If you intend to apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate outside of your home country, contact that specific embassy or consulate before scheduling an appointment to confirm it is able to process third-country nationals.
PLEASE NOTE: The ISSO will provide interested parties with information concerning the pros and cons of doing a change of status vs consular processing – it is up to the interested party to determine if filing a change of status is in their best nature, and that individual assumes liability associated with any decision made. The ISSO will provide regulatory and practice information as it stands at the time of the consult. Due to the fluid nature of governmental interpretation, applicants must understand that USCIS reserves the right to change their interpretation of immigration regulation of requirements to establish eligibility for benefits at any time.