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Student Visa (F1, F2, M1, M2)

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Change of status - L2 to F1
My son has L2 visa until September 2024. Currently, he is 18 years old. He will be starting his college from Fall 2023.
What is the best way to have hassle free studies.
1.Can he apply for F1 directly and get this stamping at our home country? or
2. should we apply for change of status from L2 to F1 staying in the US. Can the status change happen in US or should he travel back to home country?
3. What is the lead time for Change of status process?
4. Will the college initiate this process or it has to be done through attorney?
I would appreciate if you can clarify
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