Change of Status

Form I-539

B-2 to F-1

Eligibility: A change of nonimmigrant status from B-2 to F-1 may be requested when the applicant

  • Has been admitted to an academic degree program at Tarleton State (Note: Students are not allowed to enroll in an academic program at Tarleton State while in B-2 status.),
  • Is in possession of a valid Form I-94, and
  • Has been present in the U.S. for more than 90 days. (Note: Change of status from B-2 to F-1 is possible before 90 days only if your visa indicates “Prospective Student.”)

B-2 to F-2

Eligibility: A change of nonimmigrant status from B-2 to F-2 may be requested when the applicant

  • No longer wishes or has the ability to maintain B-2 status, or
  • Has a spouse or parent in valid F-1 status.

E or L to F-1

Eligibility: A change of nonimmigrant status from E or L to F-1 may be requested when the applicant

  • Has been admitted to an academic degree program at Tarleton State and intends to be a full-time student, and
  • Either can no longer maintain their current status because the primary visa holder has discontinued employment or
  • Is the child of an E or L-1 and is about to reach his/her 21st birthday.  (Note: USCIS must receive change-of-status applications for E and L-2 children before the applicant’s 21st birthday.)

F-2 to F-1

Eligibility: A change of nonimmigrant status from F-2 to F-1 may be requested when the applicant

  • Has been admitted to an academic degree program at Tarleton State (Note: Students may enroll part time recreationally while in F-2 status.) and
  • Is the dependent of a student in valid F-1 status.

H-1B to F-1

Eligibility: A change of nonimmigrant status from H-1B to F-1 may be requested when the applicant

  • Has been admitted to an academic degree program at Tarleton State and intends to be a full-time student, and
  • Is either maintaining H-1B status or
  • Terminated employment fewer than 10 days before filing their I-539 with USCIS.

H-4 to F-1

Eligibility: A change of nonimmigrant status from H-4 to F-1 may be requested when the applicant

  • Has been admitted to an academic degree program at Tarleton State and intends to be a full-time student, and
  • Either can no longer maintain H-4 status because the primary visa holder has discontinued employment or
  • Is the child of an H-1B and is about to reach his/her 21st birthday.  (Note: USCIS must receive change-of-status applications for H-4 children before the applicant’s 21st birthday.)

Change of Status Guides

Change of Status to F-1: I-539

Change of Status B-2 to F-2: I-539

Full-Time Enrollment Requirements

Federal immigration rules require that international students meet full-time enrollment requirements in the fall and spring semesters, as defined below. Students must only meet summer full-time enrollment requirements if summer will be their first or final semester at Tarleton.

Fall and Spring Semester Credit Hour Requirements

 UndergraduateGraduateDoctoral
Full Course of Study1296
Face-to-Face963

Summer Semester Credit Hour Requirements

 UndergraduateGraduateDoctoral
Full Course of Study1266
Face-to-Face933

Health Insurance

Medical services in the United States are privatized. That means the government does not provide medical treatment and the patient is responsible for all costs. Medical treatment can be very expensive the in the U.S. so many Americans carry medical insurance to subsidize medical costs.

Insurance Requirements

All international students in F-1 status at Tarleton State University are required to have the Texas A&M University System’s Student Health Insurance Plan during all periods of enrollment. The premium is automatically charged to an international student’s tuition and fee statement.

International students are covered by the Academic Blue Student Health Plan through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Please take a moment to review the health insurance information, coverage, and benefits at Tarleton My AHP Care.

System Health Insurance Regulation

Enrollment in the Academic Blue Student Health Plan is mandated by the Texas A&M System Benefits Administration and applies to all universities of the Texas A&M University System. Tarleton State University does not determine the cost of this insurance. The plan is reviewed annually by the System Benefits Administration. You can find the System Student Health Insurance Regulation here.

TAMUS AHP Student Dental

Additionally, you may be interested in dental insurance. Dental insurance information can be found here.

Insurance Cards

As of fall 2022, student health insurance cards are digital. Go to https://tarleton.myahpcare.com/, click on “Additional Information,” then “Account & ID Card Information,” and follow these steps:

  1. Look up your group and member ID numbers.
  2. Create an account with Academic Health Plans.
  3. Create an account with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  4. Access your digital ID card through your Blue Access for Members (BAM) account.

You can also refer to the Academic Blue Quick Start Guide for step-by-step directions on how to set up your accounts and access your digital ID card.

Insurance Rates (2022 – 2023)

For a detailed list for insurance rates for the 2022 – 2023 academic year, please refer to the following chart:

AHP Insurance Rates 2022-2023

 Students attending their first semester at Tarleton for fall will be subject to additional insurance for the month of August.

Waiver Guidelines

We understand if you wish to use your own insurance. The Texas A&M University System has established four circumstances in which an international student can request a waiver to the student health insurance plan by providing evidence of alternative health insurance coverage. Please review the circumstances under which you may submit a waiver request:

  1. Student is sponsored by the United States government
  2. Student is sponsored by a foreign government recognized by the United States or certain international, government-sponsored or non-governmental organizations, and covered under a health plan that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the health plan does not include medical evacuation and repatriation, a rider must be purchased providing coverage at equal limits to the SSHIP.
  3. Student is enrolled in an employer-provided group health group that is compliance with the ACA. If the health plan does not include medical evacuation and repatriation, a ride must be purchased providing coverage at equal limits to the SSHIP.
  4. Student is enrolled in only distance learning programs

In order to be approved for a waiver, your alternate health coverage must meet the following requirements requirements as set in the System Regulation:

  1. Policy provides the Essential Minimum Benefits required by the PPACA with no annual limits.
  2. Policies annual deduction of no more than $500 USD (except for employer plans).
  3. Policy contains no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
  4. Proof of Repatriation expenses in the amount of no less than $25,000 USD.
  5. Proof of expenses associated with the medical evacuation to the insured’s home country of no less than $50,000 USD.

Submit your waiver with proof of documentation using the following link:

TARLETON MY AHP CARE – WAIVER

 For assistance with your waiver request, please contact Academic Health Plans at [email protected] or read their Waiver Submission Quick Reference Flyer.

Graduate Assistantships

If you are a new graduate student assistant and your position is benefits eligible, you must opt-in to the Graduate Student Employee Health Plan through Workday to receive a student health insurance fee waiver on your Texan Bill Pay. You are not required to apply for a waiver of the student health insurance fee. However, to receive the waiver, your employee insurance must be effective either January 31 for spring enrollees or September 1 for fall enrollees.

To ensure that your insurance takes effect in time for you to receive the fee waiver, you must complete your insurance on-boarding task in Workday within the time frame given to you by Employee Services during your Benefits Orientation.

Not completing your insurance on-boarding task in Workday in a timely manner could result in your being “double covered” and having to pay the student health insurance fee for the first semester of your assistantship.

If you want to opt-out of the Graduate Student Employee Health Insurance Plan, you must decline the insurance in Workday. If you do not decline the insurance, you will be enrolled by default.

Please contact [email protected] if you have additional questions.

Immigration Check-In

All incoming international students are required to check in with the International Programs – Immigration Office upon arriving at Tarleton*. The check-in process consists of two steps:

  • Document check – Students will be notified to submit a list of documents to International Programs – Immigration, who will check them for any possible issues that may negatively impact the student.
  • Physical presence confirmation – Students must meet in person with a Designated School Official (DSO) at their campus or a nearby campus to confirm their physical presence on campus. The physical presence confirmation CANNOT be done by phone or Zoom. Failure to report to a DSO is considered a violation of your immigration status and could result in termination of your SEVIS record. Familiarize yourself with your responsibilities as an international student by completing your online orientation.

You must also complete a mandatory online new international student orientation course in Canvas that is hosted by International Programs – Immigration*. The orientation course is designed to educate new international students about their immigration responsibilities while studying in the U.S.  The primary goals are to help students understand the regulations that they must follow to remain “in status” and to make them aware of the many processes, resources, and support services that International Programs – Immigration has to assist them during their time at Tarleton.  

Failure to satisfactorily complete the online orientation course will result a hold being placed on your account, which will prevent you from changing your schedule, getting a transcript, and registering for the next semester.

*The two-step check-in and online new international student orientation are NOT required for undergraduate medical laboratory sciences students who are participating in a partnership program and are keeping their SEVIS record at their home university.

Initial I-20

An I-20 is a document that international students need to obtain a visa to study in the United States. A Designated School Official (DSO) from Tarleton State University issues new international students an initial I-20. After being admitted to Tarleton, the student must submit a copy of their passport, proof of financial solvency, and their foreign address to qualify for an I-20. The Form I-20 is required to apply for a visa.

Here is a summary of the primary tasks you will need to complete as a new student at Tarleton:

  1. Get your Form I-20! The I-20 is the document that proves that you will be at Tarleton, and it is required in order for you to get a visa to enter the United States. We will email your I-20 to the email address on your application when it’s ready.
  2. Make your visa interview appointment with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain a U.S. visa stamp in your passport that will allow you to enter the United States.
  3. Make your travel plans to the U.S! Remember that your I-20 has the date that you are expected to be here at Tarleton State University, so make your travel plans accordingly. You may not arrive in the United States more than 30 days before the program start date on your I-20. If you arrive more than 30 days before the program start date on your I-20, you will be denied entry into the United States.
  4. Check-In with the International Programs – Immigration Office upon arrival at Tarleton.
  5. Complete a mandatory online New International Student Orientation session hosted by International Programs – Immigration.

Obtaining Your Student Visa

1. Obtain your I-20

After receiving your passport, financial documentation, and any other required supporting documentation, the International Programs – Immigration Office will issue your I-20. Once your I-20 is issued, you will receive an email regarding mailing options.

2. Pay the SEVIS Form I-901 fee

Pay your SEVIS Form I-901 fee online. Be sure to print your receipt so you can take it with you to your visa interview.

3. Schedule a visa appointment

Contact your local U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate and follow their procedures to schedule an interview.

When completing your DS-160, use the SEVIS school code for the campus that will be attending:

  • Stephenville: DAL214F00923000
  • Fort Worth: DAL214F00923001
  • Fort Worth MLS: DAL214F00923002
  • Midlothian: DAL214F00923004
  • Waco: DAL214F00923005

4. Read our Next Steps and Visa Interview Tips documents

These documents provide helpful information as you prepare for your interview and can be found here.

5. Remember to go to your visa interview

It may seem odd that we would include this step, but sometimes students forget to go! Write it down in your calendar.

Permanent Residents

Permanent Residents

Permanent Residents are those who have obtained their Green Card (Form I-551). They are not considered citizens of the United States but have many rights associated with citizens. They are also not considered international students. They are a special category. With that being said, a Permanent Resident does not need any special visa or authorization from the International Programs – Immigration Office to enroll at Tarleton. In addition, they may work on- or off-campus without authorization.

Permanent Resident Pending

An individual who has filed the I-485 application to adjust his or her status from a non-citizen to become a Permanent Resident is considered to be Pending for Permanent Residency (PR Pending or I-485 Pending). This status gives the individual legal status to remain in the U.S. during this pending period. The individual does not automatically have the right to work but may apply for work permission using the Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. Like the Permanent Resident, the PR Pending may also enroll at Tarleton without any special visa or authorization from the International Programs – Immigration Office. This means that these students are not required to have an F-1 visa to study at Tarleton. It may be months or years before the pending status is resolved, so students should be aware of their options and the potential benefits and consequences of each.

  • I-485 Pending with an F-1 Visa

When you file the Form I-485 application you are allowed to remain in the U.S. without maintaining F-1 status. Although maintaining student status is not required once you file the I-485, there is a practical benefit to maintaining your legal F-1 status. If you choose to maintain your full-time F-1 status while you are PR Pending, you may be eligible to be reinstated back to F-1 student status if you are denied Permanent Residency. Without doing this, you may be forced to return home. This pathway provides a backup plan in case you fail to become a PR and still want to stay in the U.S. As an F-1, you will be tracked in SEVIS so that there is proof of maintaining your F-1 status. However, if you follow this path and fail to maintain F-1 status for even one semester, you will still be legally PR Pending. However, you will no longer have the F-1 option available if you fail to become a PR. Also, remember that if you want to maintain your F-1 status while you are PR Pending, then you may not work off-campus (even with approval based on your PR Pending status), because you will forfeit your F-1 status. F-1 students may not work off-campus.

  • I-485 Pending with no F-1 Visa

If you have filed the I-485 (PR Pending), you have legal status in the U.S. and do not have to follow F-1 regulations. You do not have to enroll full-time each fall and spring semester. You can enroll in more than one online class each semester. If you follow this path, then you will have no alternate plan if you are denied Permanent Residence. More than likely, if denied, you will be forced to leave the U.S. and return to your home country.

**The information above is only for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking Permanent Residency or U.S. Citizenship, you should contact an immigration lawyer or other appropriate counsel for advice.

Change of Status from PR Pending to PR or from PR to Citizen

Please contact the Registrar’s Office if you need to change your status after you have enrolled.

Transferring to Tarleton State University

If you plan to transfer your SEVIS record to Tarleton, please remember that you must be in status at the time of the transfer. Tarleton State University will not accept your SEVIS record if it is out of status. You may remain in the US while transferring between schools as long as you begin classes at Tarleton 

  • in the next available term,
  • within 5 months of your last day of classes at your previous school,
  • within 5 months of the program end date on your current I-20, or
  • within 5 months of the end date on your EAD card granted for post-completion OPT (whichever is shorter). 

Please follow the steps below to transfer your SEVIS record to Tarleton:

  1. After you are admitted to Tarleton, you and a DSO at your current school will need to decide on an appropriate date for transferring your SEVIS record to Tarleton. This day is known as your “SEVIS release date.”
  2. The International Programs – Immigration Office will issue you a transfer-pending I-20 on or after your SEVIS release date.
  3. Let the International Programs – Immigration Office know if you are leaving the U.S. before coming to Tarleton so we can dispatch your I-20 to you for travel.

Traveling to Tarleton State University

If you will need a ride from either Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) or Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) to the Stephenville campus, please book your ride with Taxiville, a local car service here in Stephenville.

  • Call 254-434-8998 or email [email protected] to book your ride. (You cannot do this via their website.)
  • Give them this Account Code: International01
  • You will make the arrangements, but Taxiville will send the bill to Tarleton.

Students who will be attending Tarleton’s Waco campus should fly into either Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport or Dallas Love Field Airport, then continue on to Waco Regional Airport via American Airlines. For more information, go to https://waco-texas.com/Departments/Airport.

For students who will be attending Tarleton’s Fort Worth campus, transportation from either Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport or Dallas Love Field Airport to Fort Worth and the rest of the Metroplex is available through services such as Super Shuttle Express, Uber (DFW and DAL), and taxis (DFW and DAL).

Contact Immigration

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 254-968-9632