Changing Your Immigration Status in New York City
Enlist Our Support for Your Change of Status Application
While you are in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant (i.e. temporary) visa, your circumstances may change. You may wish to change or extend your stay. Some common examples can be for tourism, starting a business, visiting family, or seeking medical help.
You must follow the rules to change your status from one category to another. For example, you cannot be out of your current status while attempting to change to another. Also, certain nonimmigrant visas do not permit change of status. Perhaps most importantly, you must not change your activities until you receive approval from USCIS for your change of status. To do so would jeopardize your future.
Generally, while USCIS processes your application, you will not be considered out of status. Therefore, you may be permitted to remain in the United States while your change of status application is pending. In all of these matters, our New York City change of status lawyer can provide knowledgeable counsel at each step.
Filing Form I-539
To change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S., you will need to file a request with USCIS prior to the expiration of your authorized period of stay. This involves filling out Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. As with all other immigration processes, it is crucial to provide accurate information and avoid inconsistencies in your application.
Our lawyer is here to help you prepare Form I-539 and ensure you submit it to USCIS correctly and on time. We can also make sure you include all supporting documents needed for the type of status you are trying to change.
What Is Form I-129?
Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, is not just for nonimmigrant workers to obtain temporary status. You will also need this form to request a change of status and an extension of stay in certain nonimmigrant categories. Your employer will likely need to file Form I-129 as well.
Timing Is Key
It is crucial to file for a change of status before your current authorized stay expires. USCIS recommends filing at least 45 days before your current visa expires, or as soon as you know you require a change of status. Failing to file on time often results in a denial. However, USCIS has the discretion to grant an extension on a case-by-case basis.
If you filed late, you may be considered for an extension if:
- The delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances beyond your control
- The length of the delay can be considered “reasonable”
- You have not otherwise violated your nonimmigrant status
- You are not in removal proceedings
- You are still a bona fide nonimmigrant
Whether you are filing well before the deadline, or your authorized period of stay has already expired, our New York City change of status attorney can help you take the necessary steps to submit your application.