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Change of Status & Extension of Status

Foreign nationals need to return to their home country upon expiration of their authorized stay in the United States. However, foreign nationals who would like to stay in the United States and either change or extend their present status must timely apply for either a change of status or extension of their current status to maintain their valid status.

Change of Status:

Nonimmigrants can change their status to different nonimmigrant visa category. The spouses and children of nonimmigrants can also change their status with respect to the status of the principal applicants. However, some nonimmigrants cannot change their status in the United States because of their visa category such as C (transit), D (crewman), K (fiancée) and J (if subject to the 2-year foreign residency requirement). Also, nonimmigrants who have overstayed their authorized stay cannot change status. Moreover, nonimmigrants admitted to the United States based on a visa waiver program cannot change status. M-1 students cannot change their status to F-1.

Nonimmigrants cannot appeal denial of change of status application. However, a motion to reopen or to reconsider can be filed with the Service Director where the application was filed for further consideration or reversal of the previously issued decision.

Extension of Status

All nonimmigrant are eligible to apply for extension of their status except for the following:

  1. Applicants entered on a visa waiver program
  2. K-1 and K-2 applicants
  3. C-1, C-2, C-3 applicants
  4. D-1, D-2 applicants, and
  5. D/S applicants subject to some exceptions.

Extension of status applications are usually filed on form I-539 except nonimmigrant temporary workers need to apply for extension of their status on form I-129. An application for extension of status may be filed anytime before the present expiration of status. Like in the case of change of status applications, extension of status denials cannot be appealed, but could be reviewed and / or reversed upon filing a motion to reopen or reconsider with the USCIS.

 

Disclosure

We do not represent the Department of Homeland Security or any legal entity. All content on this site is strictly for informational purposes meant to help you make an informed decision regarding you, or your loved ones immigration to the U.S. Be sure to consult our immigration attorney for any legal advice.

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