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Admissions picture
Admissions picture

Changing visa status to student (F1) inside the USA

NOTE: Before students seeking a change of visa status begin the application process, it is strongly recommended that they contact the Admissions Coordinator for International Students (Mustapha Jourdini- phone: 865/539-7007; email: to discuss their individual circumstances.

Step One

Complete the Pellissippi State Application.

NOTE: Choose "International Student" application type from the drop-down menu once you have set up a user account.

Step Two

If your native language is not English, you must show that you have English proficiency. This can be done in any one of five ways:

  • Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Information about the TOEFL may be obtained by calling 1-609-771-7100 or by visiting the TOEFL Web site at A TOEFL score of 450 on the paper-based, 133 on the computer-based test, or a 45 on the internet-based TOEFL is necessary in order to be admitted. Be sure to arrange to have the scores mailed directly to Pellissippi State from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Pellissippi State's institutional code is 1795, and the department code is 00. It is very important to have these codes with you when you take the TOEFL.
  • Take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Information about the IELTS may be obtained by calling 1-323-255-2771 or by visiting the IELTS Web site at An IELTS score of 5.0 is necessary to be admitted. Be sure to arrange to have the scores mailed directly to Pellissippi State.
  • To enroll directly into English 1010, students need to earn a 525 on paper TOEFL, 70 on internet TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS test.
  • Students who are already inside the US can take the Pellissippi State English Department's English examination, called the Michigan Test. This test can not be taken outside Knoxville, Tennessee. To schedule this test, contact the Admissions Office at 865/694-6568 or via email:
  • Provide an official transcript from a US college or university that shows successful completion of English Composition I.
  • Proof of graduation from a US high school with a regular high school diploma or completion of the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) exam.

Step Three

Send an official copy of your high school and/or your college/university transcripts with certified English translations. If you want to receive college credit for courses taken at a college or university outside of the USA, please see the credential evaluation policy.

Step Four

Complete the Immigration Information Form. Follow the instructions carefully.

Step Five

Complete the I-20 Request Form.

Step Six

Complete the Financial Support Form with your sponsor's signature, and mail it with any supporting documentation needed to Pellissippi State Admissions and Records. You must have financial support of at least $26,186 U.S. dollars in a bank account. Pellissippi State will not complete currency conversions for you. In lieu of the Financial Support Form, you may submit an official bank letter showing that you have at least $26,186 U.S. dollars in a bank account, along with a letter from your sponsor declaring his or her commitment to support you financially.

Step Seven

Mail a photocopy of the identification page of your passport. If the expiration date of your passport is on another page, please send that page also.