Can I change my visa category from F2 to F1? This is a question that many people have probably asked themselves. Nevertheless, a general response is not always possible since each case needs to be considered individually. Applying to university or higher education programs, as we have mentioned in other articles, requires a particular type of visa, the F1 visa. If, on the other hand, you apply to vocational centers or institutions that offer art or improvisation courses, for example, you must request an M1 visa.
Whoever requests and gets one of these two visas approved has some benefits or rights that he/she can exercise if certain conditions are met. For example, if you have a wife or children, you can request a visa for them so that they can accompany you during the study period. Those individuals that the owner of the F1 or M1 visa categories can invite to the United States will have to carry out a process that will grant them the F2 or M2 visa status.
However, what happens if a person that has the F2 visa and resides temporarily in the United States decides that he/she would like to get a job or carry out vocational studies legally. In that case, the person must request a change of status but must also carefully consider the requirements and conditions of the visa. Failure to do so may result in a serious infraction with serious consequences.
The person with the F2 or M2 visa must remember that with this visa he/she can still study as long as the study plan does not generate any certificate of graduation or diploma of any kind, and its intensity is less than eighteen (18) hours per week. However, as far as work is concerned, everyone interested must bear in mind that this visa status does not allow working legally in the United States for any reason. If the person wishes to get enrolled in a college, or a university, or work legally, they will have to make the request and go through the corresponding process.
The application for the change of status from F2 to F1 will require a process similar to applying for the F1 visa for the first time. It´s necessary for authorities to carry out an assessment of the admission documents, with a minimum of 120 days in advance, in addition to the necessary financial inquiries that demonstrate that the student can endure economically in the United States.
There´s something you must keep in mind if you do request a change of status. The M1 visa forces the student to leave the country within a maximum period of thirty days after finishing the curricular program. This implies that if the person´s spouse or parents must remain in the country for a longer period of time because of their own study program, he/she will have to separate from them due to the nature of the visa.
The thing is that nobody can have two types of visas at the same time so you will need to cancel the F2 or M2, in order for it to be replaced by an F1 or M1 visa. The first step is to be admitted to an academic institution before the process of status modification. The admission certificate will be required by authorities and must be attached with the forms.