In some cases, if you are already in the U .S. you may wish to apply for a change of status to avoid a return trip to your home country. The application is submitted on Form I-539 with a fee, and accompanied by copies of previous documents showing your visa history. An application for a change of status can take several months for a decision, and is not always the best option. However, an international advisor at ISSS should be consulted as soon as you receive your invitation to the J-1 program. Case-by-case, ISSS will help determine if the change of status application processing will help or hinder the your circumstances. In most cases, applicants find that a trip home and applying for the visa from there is much quicker and more reliable than remaining in the U.S. and applying for a change of status.
If a change of status is recommended, ISSS will assist with your change of status application.