Change of Non-Immigrant Status

There are times when you may want to change your status in the United States due to circumstances that have developed since your initial entry into the U.S. The BCIS allows you to do this in certain cases. There are also times when you MUST change your status or you will be violating U.S. immigration law and may be subject to removal from the U.S.


Not everyone who wants to change their status, can. You may not change your status if you were admitted on the following visas categories:

C- Alien in Transit or without a visa
D- A crewman
K- Fiancé of U.S. citizen
S- An informant
Visa Waiver Program

If you were admitted on a J visa for graduate medical training you cannot change status unless you receive a special waiver. If you are on an M visa, you may not change to an F or H.

Some people do not have to change status. If you are the spouse or child of someone in the following visa categories, you do not have to change status if you attend school in the USA:

A- Diplomatic
E- International Trade or Investors
F- Academic Students and their families
G- Representatives of International Organizations
H- Temporary Workers
I- Representatives of foreign media and their families
J- Exchange Visitors
L- Intracompany Transfers
M- Vocational Students and their families

If you are changing status to one of the following visa catagories, your spouse and children can change status to the appropriate “accompanying” visa category if they are going to stay with you in the U.S. during your stay in this status:

E- International Trade and Investors
H- Temporary Workers
L- Intracompany Transferees
O- Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
P- Entertainers and Athletes
Q- Participants in International Exchange Programs
R- Religious Workers
TN- Canadians and Mexicans Under NAFTA

Apply for a change of status as soon as possible BEFORE your nonimmigrant status expires.

You have to be IN LEGAL STATUS to CHANGE STATUS. The BCIS is likely to deny a change your status if you are not in status with your current visa. If you are late filing, then you must prove that:

The delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
The delay was of reasonable length;
You have not done anything to violate your nonimmigrant status;
You are still a nonimmigrant; and,
You are not in deportation proceedings.

There are multitudinous immigration laws, federal statutes and regulations involved in applications for non-immigrant and immigrant visas. The legal process is complex and could result in the denial of a your visa if the application is not properly prepared. If the application is put together correctly and professionally by a qualified immigration attorney, the probability of achieving a successful result is greatly increased.

The Bócsi Law Firm can precisely and professionally prepare all of the necessary applications for you, providing you with security that the entire process goes smoothly, and relieving you of the stress and worry that often accompanies immigration legal procedures.

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