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Can I Change My Nonimmigrant Status?

Are you presently in the United States but now you’d like to change the purpose of your visit? In that case, you or depending on your circumstances, your employer, will need to file a request with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and you’ll have to apply before your authorized stay expires.

For example, let’s say you travelled to the United States on holiday but you fell in love with our country and culture. Now, you want to be more than just a tourist; you want to become a full-time college student. Assuming you arrived in the U.S. as a tourist, you’re going to have to apply for a change of status with USCIS. Our advice is that once you decide you want to be in a different nonimmigrant category, file right away – don’t delay.

Waiting for Your Approval

Until USCIS approves your application, you cannot assume the change has been okayed by USCIS. You cannot change what you’re doing in the U.S. until your application is officially approved. For example, we don’t recommend enrolling in school here until you know your application has gone through and approved.

If your nonimmigrant status expires and you unlawfully remain in the U.S. while awaiting your change in status approval, you could face removal proceedings and be barred from re-entering the U.S. To locate the date your authorized status expires, look at the lower right-hand corner of your Arrival Departure Record(Form I-94).

To qualify to change your nonimmigrant status, the following must be true:

  • You were legally admitted to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa.
  • Your nonimmigrant status is currently valid.
  • You followed all of the conditions of your status.
  • You haven’t broken any U.S. laws that would make you ineligible.

Related: Green Card Eligibility

Are you interested in changing your nonimmigrant status? Since immigration cases are delicate matters that must be handled according to strict immigration laws and timelines, it’s in your best interests to seek the help of a Plano immigration attorneyfrom The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC. Contact our office to see how we can be of assistance.

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