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(Change to F1 Status)


Individuals under certain conditions may be eligible to apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to change from their current non-immigrant status to F-1 status after completing admission to TCC pursuant to F1 status and the form I-20. There is no guarantee that an application for a change of status will be approved. Service Center I-539 processing times range from 1-5 months or longer, depending on the workload at the Service Center and the visa category of the applicant. If your request to change to F1 status is approved, you will only receive STATUS; NO VISAS are issued within the United States.


Please read the requirements listed below very carefully.

TCC Regional Health Professions Center - Virginia Beach campus


International Student Services

Tidewater Community College
Intercultural Learning Center

A-Princess Anne Building, Room A-115

1700 College Crescent

Virginia Beach, VA, 23453

Phone: 757-822-7296

Fax: 757-822-7544



Once an applicant completes admission to TCC, International Student Services will issue the Form I-20 for a change of status only if the applicant's current non-immigrant status remains valid AND unexpired to at least 30 days before the start date of the requested F-1 status as indicated on the form I-20. Applicants whose status expires prior to this date will be issued an I-20 for Initial Attendance to depart the U.S. and re-enter with an F-1 student visa.


  • File a non-frivolous request

  • File your request in a timely manner, before your current non-immigrant status expires

  • Maintain an unexpired non-immigrant status that remains valid to the date that the new status is requested to begin

  • Not have violated your current non-immigrant status

  • Show, to the satisfaction of the Service Center, that you did not falsify your last entry to the U.S. by claiming that you would be doing one activity, then engaging in another activity after you entered the U.S. not related to your current visa status




A change of status request from an individual in B2 STATUS may be scrutinized by the Service Center for preconceived intent where it appears, either from statements made on the application or from the sequence of events (initial visa application and issuance, admission, obtaining supporting documents for a new status, until the date of filing) that the applicant concealed his/her true purpose for entering the U.S., either on the visa application or to the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) inspector at the time of admission to the U.S.

Preconceived intent may apply to individuals who enter the U.S. with school records, or who contact a school before or shortly after arriving in the U.S.

** Visitors in B2 status are not advised to submit admission documents to TCC for at least 60 days after initially arriving in the U.S.


Effective May 29, 2015: F2 dependents may enroll only in a part-time course of study (less than 12 credit hours). To enroll in 12 or more credit hours, F1 status must be acquired.




This school is authorized under Federal Law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.

F-1 visa students at Tidewater Community College may only enroll in classes required for the course of study listed on the form I-20 that are located at TCC’s four comprehensive campuses (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach) and the Visual Arts Center. (Please note: students may continue to enroll in one 3 credit online course per semester to count towards full-time enrollment.)  Enrollment in classes at any off-campus location is not permitted, and is considered to be a violation of status. There is no exception to this policy.