I have a PhD place at a US university starting Aug 21 but want to visit a different university for casual research for 6 weeks from July 1. This is longer than the 30 day grace period for the F1. Can I arrive on the visa waiver program or tourist visa in July and then just stay on for the PhD? I guess I might need to change status. Will this work?
Please don’t suggest exiting and reentering, that’s too expensive.
(British masters student in UK)