Change Of Status

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

6. How do I apply for Change of Status?

If you wish to change your status to any of the following nonimmigrant categories, your employer should file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, and any required supporting documents:

E – International Traders and Investors
– International Traders and Investors
H – Temporary workers
L – Intra company transferees
O – Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
P – IEntertainers and Athletes
Q – Participants in International Exchange Programs
R – Religious workers
TN – Canadians and Mexicans under NAFTA

If you wish to change status to any of the following nonimmigrant categories, you should carefully read and complete Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and submit any supporting documents:

A – Diplomatic and other government officials, and their dependants and employees
B -Temporary visitors for business or pleasure
F – Academic students and their dependants
G – Representatives to international organizations and their dependants and employees
I – Representatives of foreign media and their dependants
J – Exchange visitors and their dependants
M – Vocational students and their dependants
N- Parents and children of people who have been granted special immigrant status because their parents were employed by an international organization in the U.S.

Note: Your application and correct fee should be mailed to the United Sates Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center that serves the area where you are temporarily staying. If your nonimmigrant category is work-related, then the application and correct fee should be mailed to the USCIS Service Center that serves the area where you will work.


7. How do my dependants apply for Change of Status?

If your employer files Form I-129, Petition for Alien Worker, for you, then your dependants must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and submit any required supporting documents to change to a new nonimmigrant category.

You may include your dependants (spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21) in your Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, if you are all in the same nonimmigrant category, or if your spouse or children were given derivative nonimmigrant status.

OR
Check My Eligibility

8. When should I apply for Change of Status?

It is recommended that you apply as soon as you determine that you need to change to a different nonimmigrant category.

Note: You must apply to change your nonimmigrant category before your current nonimmigrant status expires. Also, do not start new employment before getting approval for your change of status application.


9. What happens if I apply for Change of Status after my authorized stay has expired?

If you are late in filing for a change of nonimmigrant status and your current status has already expired, you must prove that:

  1. The delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control
  2. The length of the delay was reasonable
  3. You have not done anything else to violate your nonimmigrant status (such as work without United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approval)
  4. You are still a nonimmigrant. (This means that you are not trying to become a permanent resident of the U.S. There are some exceptions.)
  5. You are not in formal proceedings to remove or deport you from the country

10. How can I check the status of my Change of Status application?

You may check visa status by using VisaPro’s free visa status service.