Change To a Different Non-immigrant Status

Thứ Tư, 19 Tháng Mười Một 201400:00(Xem: 11042)
Change To a Different Non-immigrant Status

If you want to change the purpose of your visit while in the United States, you must file a request with USCIS before your authorized stay expires. For instance, if you arrived here as a tourist but want to become a student, you must submit an application to change your status. You should submit the application to CIS as soon as you decide that you need to change to a different non-immigrant category.

Until you receive approval from USCIS, do not assume the status has been approved, and do not change your activity in the United States. For example, if you are currently a non-immigrant tourist, do not begin attending school as a student until you have received authorization from USCIS to change your status. If you do not maintain your non-immigrant status, you may be barred from returning to the US or deported from the United States. Your authorized status and the date your status expires can be found in the lower right-hand corner of your Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record.

In general, you may apply to change your non-immigrant status

· if you were lawfully admitted to the US with a non-immigrant visa,
· if your non-immigrant status remains valid,
· if you have not violated the conditions of your status, and
· if you have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible.

You may not apply to change to a different non-immigrant status if you were admitted to the United States in the Visa Waiver Program or as the Fiancé of a U.S. citizen (K non-immigrant visa).

Is it permissible to enroll in school while in B-1/B-2 status? No, it is not. CIS regulations specifically prohibit study in the United States while in B-1 or B-2 status. Before enrolling in classes, individuals who are in B-1 or B-2 status must first acquire F-1 (academic student) status. Enrolling in classes while in B-1/B-2 status will result in a status violation. Individuals in B-1 or B-2 status, who have violated their non-immigrant status by enrolling in classes, are not eligible to extend their B status or change to F-1. status. There are no exceptions to these regulations.

How can I obtain F-1 status? If you currently hold B-1 or B-2 non-immigrant status and would like to enroll in classes, you may apply for a change of status to F-1 if:

· You have not yet enrolled in classes
· Your current status has not expired
· You have not engaged in unauthorized employment

To change your non-immigrant status from B-1/B-2 to F-1, you must file an Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status (Form I-539), and include the required fee and documents listed in the filing instructions.

Please Note:

· If you enroll in classes before USCIS approves your Form I-539, you will be ineligible to change your non-immigrant status from B to F.
· If you are applying to extend your B-1/B-2 stay and you have already enrolled in classes, USCIS cannot approve your B-1/B-2 extension because of the status violation.

What if I am not eligible? If you are not eligible to change your non-immigrant status to F-1, you may apply for an F-1 visa at a consular post abroad. Prospective students should work closely with their designated school official (DSO) to coordinate the timing of applying for change of status and enrolling in classes.

Employment: F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. There are various programs available for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment, after the first academic year. F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment, after they have been studying for one academic year. These three types of employment are:

· Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
· Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
· Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

For F-1 students, any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized by the Designated School Official before starting any work. The Designated School Official is the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Q. 1. Does CIS usually approve a change from Tourist Visa to Student Visa?
A.1. If it is clear to CIS that you did not intend to change status when you entered the US, they will probably approve a change to F1. If they think you entered as a tourist in order to avoid F1 processing at the US Consulate in Vietnam, they will probably deny your F1 request.

Q. 2. I came to the US as an international exchange visitor with a J-1 visa. Can I change to another non-immigrant status?
A.2. You need a special waiver to change your non-immigrant status if you are an exchange visitor and if you are required to meet the foreign residence requirement.

Q. 3. If a B2 tourist applies for an F1 student visa in the summer, can he start classes in the Fall even if he has not yet received CIS approval for the change to the F1 status?
A.3. If he enrolls before CIS approves the F1 status, he will be in violation of his B2 visa and will not be able to change to an F1 visa or any other type of visa.


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